Perfectionism and the First Draft

As writers why do we seek the unobtainable: the perfect first draft?

We write a line, read it back, read it one more time, and then hold down backspace. Then we’re back to a blank page and a blinking cursor as our only bit of company.

It feels like the more we edit, revise and refine the less our idea was a good one, and that maybe it wasn’t worth a blog post at all.

Every writer does this, including me, and it’s so unhelpful, it’s a major hinderance. Why do we do this? One word.


We get way ahead of ourselves and we worry what others will think about our writing. We’re too caught up in the critic’s mind. We’re already thinking about the negative comment on the blog post, or the 1-star Amazon review.

The funny thing is, a great blog post — or novel—comes out only when we let these things go: when we don’t care about the feedback, or who might disagree.

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