How to Get An Absolutely Perfect First Draft

You won’t.

Writers, let go of your ideas of perfection, open iWork Pages (or Microsoft Word) and just fly. The perfect first draft is the one that successfully navigates the flight from your heart to your keyboard. That’s it.

Later, you will sculpt it. Work your alchemy. Form it into little sculptures of light.

My last blog post:


27 drafts. (A new low record. Usually, it’s between 85 and 100.)

The only way up this mountain is to just climb it. Lift up your head.




8 thoughts on “How to Get An Absolutely Perfect First Draft

  1. amberskyef says:

    So many new writers need to hear this. A lot of them spend so much time trying to perfect the first draft that they often don’t finish the manuscript.

  2. heathervanallen says:

    Thank you for this, IndyInk. I struggle with what I would almost call “fear of the first draft,” especially with my own creative writing (I’m better if I’m working on a structured assignment), that it sometimes will stop me. Time for me to work on not letting that happen. I will embrace the draft.

  3. Jimmie Frantz says:

    During the 1960s, when he was the best selling author of his day, Robert Heinlein was asked how to be a successful fiction writer. He said there were five simple rules:
    1. You must write
    2. You must finish what you write
    3. You must not rewrite except to editorial demand
    4. You must submit your manuscript
    5. You must keep submitting your manuscript until it sells

    A little later, Harlan Ellison came along with an addendum to #3:
    3. You must not rewrite except to editorial demand, and sometimes not even then.

    I submit that in the world of the internet, where an author can reach readers by professional self-publishing, the final two rules can be changed to:
    4. You must put your writing up for sale
    5. You must keep your writing up for sale

    But it all starts with rule #1, you MUST write.

  4. thechurchinthemirror says:

    Thanks for this. My problem is I feel that I have to invest time and energy into getting into creative mode and I need big blocks of time to do that, and with job, family and church life I don’t make enough time for it. I need to be like Nike and just do it. 🙂

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