One of my favorite author-written books on the writing process is by Anne Lamott. Her book, “Bird by Bird,” not only gives wonderful advice about characters, plot, and the rest, it offers one very real chapter on our not so great first drafts.
Lamott refers to her writing process as “shitty first drafts” and let’s writers know that this is to be expected. When I first started writing, I wanted it to be great…right from the get-go. But I later learned to welcome every awkward, boring, mundane phrase that comes out of my mind. Do you know why? Because at least something is getting onto the page.
I know that if I can plot out the basic elements of the story, I can later make it great. I’ll add character development, dialogue that embodies those characters, and setting descriptions that take the reader away.
Because I like to bake, I equate the writing process to making a cake. Taking out the ingredients from the cupboard is the boring part. Even assembling the cake is rather mundane as there’s no room for experimentation. Add the wrong proportions of baking soda to flour and you’re doomed. But when it’s finished, you get to frost it and decorate. Forgive the pun, but this is the icing on the cake.
The same applies to your writing. Just get those first drafts down. Then, you can rework them, make them into a piece of art, and send them off into the world where they will find their home.