Ok, time is up. Well, almost. As long as you can quickly identify a couple of strong topics for your essays, there’s still time to pound out good ones.
Here’s the best advice I know on writing first drafts, from one of the best writers out there. A quirky woman named Anne Lamott (check out her picture at the bottom!). Ignore the weird hair. She’s THE BEST. Read on:
“For me and most of the writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.” Anne Lamott, from the best book on writing, called Bird by Bird.
“All good writers write them (shitty first drafts). This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts. …” more from A.L. and Bird by Bird.
Okay. Do you love her? Despite the potty language–or because of it–she’s spot on. To move forward, you have to take a good idea, get a simple plan and sit down and write it out. It won’t be great at first. That’s just how it goes. Then all you do is go back, and fix it up.
DO IT!! If you need help getting going, check out my Jumpstart Guide.
Hahaha, “shitty first draft” is exactly right. Thank you, this website is awesome.
Thank goodness for Anne Lamott!
I think this is an underestimated point for most people.
They write crappy first drafts and think they’re not meant to be a writer. They never even try to get a good second draft. They just give up on producing something they’re proud of.
I totally agree. If we expect our first drafts to be perfect, we don’t work on them—and they will stay “shitty.” Writing is a process, and that mean you have to let your self pound out something less than wonderful, and then go back and fix it! JR