Confession: Almost everything I post has been a first draft. I feel like I can get away with it. I have decent grammar, and get my points across (mostly). To be honest, it is tempting to publish this “as is” with no further rewriting. Yet…
Accepting first drafts is like accepting chicken nuggets over fresh homemade from scratch cooked all day dad’s special chili.. I like to write on an impulse, bring you my whims, and move on. Now I’ll have to meditate and let things stew. I’ll have to put my thoughts in the crockpot, and not the microwave. I’ll be working on writing that exemplifies Greg Brown’s, “slow food.” In it he says, “I want food made by a chef and not by a clown.”
Writing with multiple drafts makes better writing.. My first drafts often have pieces of good thoughts, but lack focus. By writing multiple drafts, I get to edit out the extraneous material, and sharpen my message. While this pretty obvious and told to us in every English class we take, those English classes rarely demanded enough excellence to force me to take that step. Refining your craft, doing the not fun parts of your art, that requires self-motivation. It requires a deeper why. As a writer, I have decided I don’t want to just go for good enough.
The first draft is tempting because of the immediacy, the instant gratification, but I don’t want to have chicken nugget writing. I want to bring you homemade from scratch cooked all day dad’s special chili recipe writing.
I feel like I have avoided excellence in my writing by not setting aside the time to take my work to the next level. I’m sorry I haven’t given you the best writing I have in me. I’ll be working to continually improve as I press on and enjoy life. Here’s to draft 2’s, 3’s, and becoming a better writer!