No One Will See Your First Draft

If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels with writing and you need a dose of inspiration, read these quotes from author Neil Gaiman, listen to the podcast interview with him, and/or watch the commencement speech below that he gave to the 2012 graduating class of the University of the Arts. I especially recommend that you watch the commencement speech.
On first drafts:

For me, it’s always been a process of trying to convince myself that what I’m doing in a first draft isn’t important. One way you get through the wall is by convincing yourself that it doesn’t matter. No one is ever going to see your first draft. Nobody cares about your first draft. And that’s the thing that you may be agonizing over, but honestly, whatever you’re doing can be fixed.

When to write:

If you only write when you’re inspired you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist because you’re going to have to make your word count today and those words aren’t going to wait for you whether you’re inspired or not. You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next. The process of writing can be magical. … Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.

Listen to the podcast with Neil Gaiman on the Nerdist

Watch the video from the commencement speech. So inspirational!

Photo: mpclemens / Flickr Creative Commons

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2 Comments on “No One Will See Your First Draft

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