The horrible first draft

Neil Gaiman, highly acclaimed author, and master story teller, creator of works including Coraline, and the Sandman graphic novels, said it this way:

“Nobody is ever meant to read your first draft.”

Terry Pratchett, knighted for his services to literature, said it this way:

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize winning author, said it this way:

“The first draft of anything is shit.”

But the thing is…our first draft is also our best draft…

…until we do a second draft. And we can’t do a second draft unless we’re brave enough to do a first draft.

The human species, more than any other, is a learning species. We are born as a blank slate with almost no inherent capabilities other than to cry, eat, sleep and learn. When you read Hemingway or watch Federer or listen to Gaga, don’t forget that they once had a ‘first draft’ too – and it was rubbish.

Published by

David Bott

Hi, I'm David Bott, Associate Director of the Institute of Positive Education in Australia.

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