Why a bad first draft is the first step to good writing

Getting a very rough initial version down on paper—or on screen—is essential to success. It gives you a foothold. The most important work comes in the editing/rewriting phase, anyway.

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People often laugh when I use the phrase “crappy first draft,” but I’m serious about it.

Producing one will turn you into a professional writer.

Most beginning writers abhor the idea of a crappy first draft. It’s humiliating. They know their boss or client is going to hate it. They’re going to hate it themselves. They fear it will make them look inept, so they don’t want to it exist on their hard drive, even for a nanosecond.

If this is your belief, you’re wrong. You should love your crappy first draft. You should worship it. You should create it as soon as you can.

Here are five reasons why the crappy first draft is so important:

1. It will help you write faster. If your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, you can write in about half the time; you won’t have to edit while you write. Many writers torture themselves, trying to squeeze out the perfect word or craft the best possible syntax in each sentence. Instead, leave that work for later, when you’re editing.

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