The first draft of anything is shit…

The first draft of anything is shit. – Ernest Hemingway

This is one of my favourite quotes (excuse the profanity). At first it doesn’t really appear inspiring or motivational. You may even take offence as you think to yourself  ‘hey I write pretty good first drafts thank you very much’.

Maybe you do (well done)… Maybe they’d be even better if they made it to second or third draft stage. Maybe instead of pretty good they could be AWESOME.

I used to think something wasn’t worth doing unless I was pretty good at first time around. I put effort in, but I was firmly of the belief that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing well (being good at it) and if that was too hard then maybe it wasn’t for me.

Then, and it’s a lesson I re-learn over and over, I realised that no-one was losing out on never giving things a good go, rewriting that first draft a second, third time to see what happened to it. No-one except me. I was selling myself short.

How does this relate to your life? you say. Well, I’m glad you asked because I don’t want to you be living your shitty first draft! I want to be living your AWESOME draft.**

If there are some things you want to do, or try, or maybe get better at but you don’t have a plan for how to get there, you’re giving in to your own shitty first draft. That tough mudder you want to run, the love of the life you want to meet while abseiling down a waterfall*, the instrument you want to learn, the business you want to start, they are all shitty first drafts until you write them down and rework them.

Sometimes when you say things out loud or write them down they lose their power. What if by writing down that you want to cycle the Tour de France you see the work involved in actually doing that and then you no longer want to do it? Your dreams are dashed! You’ll never do it…

Well, not really. You might still like the idea, but you know you don’t actually want to everything that comes with it. So you move on and place that ‘what if’ energy you in to something you actually ARE going to do.

So do it. Write it down. Then rewrite it. Then pursue it. Then edit it as you go along. Let me know what your awesome is.

Want help figuring out what that is or mapping the steps to get there? Let’s talk.

Next time: One of the biggest barriers to getting your first draft out (on to paper, said out loud) is your inner critic…  I’ll provide a couple of tips on how to manage yours.


*or pursuing a more low-key mutual interest.

**It will always be a draft or work in progress if you prefer, thanks to my old English teacher who used to say things can always be improved. I detested it when she used to say this and I’m pretty sure I would roll my eyes walking away but she was write right. Sigh.

2 thoughts on “The first draft of anything is shit…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s