A principle of bad first drafts

Giving yourself permission to write badly can be very liberating, and often because of that, you find what you wrote is a whole lot better than you expected. When it comes to quality, there is such a thing as trying too hard and caring too much.

I subscribe to a principle of bad first drafts. Whenever I reach a difficult progress point in a story, usually when the reality hits me that my grand ideas are slowly becoming concrete for better or worse, I sometimes lose confidence. At a time like this, it’s important not to be too critical of what you’re doing, so I give myself permission to write a bad, lousy story. Who cares? Just plow ahead. Have fun with it. You can fix it up later. Usually I get to the end and find out I’m very happy with the story, sometimes even blown away by good it is, but giving it permission to be bad frees up the creative mind to do its work unhindered.

And if your bad first draft turns out to really be bad…well, now you can get to work improving it. And if it can’t be fixed…know that you have learned through the process of writing it and recognizing what’s wrong with it. Your next bad first draft will be better.

Blogsite Errant Epiphanies takes this a step further with a writing exercise to deliberatly “Be bad–be very very bad!