I’m always telling new freelance writers that they have to sit down and actually put words on paper or on their screen. Which is true.
Of course, I’m talking about getting a rough draft of the article or blog post or sales letter or web copy done.
Drafts are the first step in a writing project and it’s not by accident they are called rough drafts. And they are likely to be very rough – in fact, that’s the point.
Here are the reasons writing a rough draft works:
- Let’s you dump your ideas about your topic on paper (or on screen) without the “help” of your internal editor.
- Gets you actually writing rather than planning to write or wishing you had.
- Done regularly will help you form the discipline of writing.
Writing A Draft Let’s You Dump
When you sit down and just write about something all sorts of things tend to appear on the paper. Generally I start with the first idea in my head, often the idea that sparked the writing in the first place.
This post occurred because I suddenly wondered, what at the grocery store, if my instructions to “write” was understood as a command or suggestion to draft something onto paper as the only way I know to get started. It was my rough draft that let me sort out what I really wanted to say and start to rewrite so my ideas are clear – both to me, and I hope to you.
Drafting is a way to get all the ideas on the paper – the good, the bad, etc. Writing a rough draft is usually done pretty quickly, although when you’re doing a draft of a big project, like a book, it will be done in multiple, many multiple shortish sessions.
When Your Drafting You’re Actually Writing
Writing a rough draft means you are actually writing. Drafting is a perfect way to get started instead of just thinking about it, or planning to do it.
Oh sure, you’ve got to think about what you’re going to write and planning a schedule so you have time to write are good things, if they don’t get in the way of putting words on paper.
When you know those words you’re putting on paper are a rough draft you’re not going to be trapped by some myth of perfection. Instead, you can just keep writing until you’ve got a complete draft reading for editing.
Writing A Draft Regularly Builds Writing Discipline
One way to look at the discipline of writing is as a habit. I know that I’m going to write every weekday morning. That knowledge helps my mind be ready to write.
Writing regularly, whatever your writing schedule is is the only way to get good enough to get paid. Or to get your book done or get your blog established or enough articles written and sold to make a living.
Knowing you’re writing a rough draft can make it easier to write regularly.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu