Embrace Imperfection: Why Your Rough Draft Matters MostNov 01, 2023
Ever been in a situation where you've held back on something you knew deep down you needed in your life?
You know, like that awesome but kind of scary project you tackled back in elementary school – remember those days? I sure do. I used to write these cool short stories in third grade, totally loving it, but at the same time, I felt a bit shy about sharing them.
You know that feeling, right? It was like having this vision of the teacher giving you a paper with a big "perfect" stamp, yet i get it back with red ink all over it, screaming, "Hey, it's not perfect!"
As I got older, the space between the rough draft and the final “shared draft” got wider, but one thing stayed the same: the effort, the passion, and this sense that I was on the right path with writing.
When I wrote my first book, it took me 30 days of 1 hour per day to get to my rough draft. A really good rough draft that had gone through my self editing process 3 times.
Then I sent it to 2 more editors that sent it back with correction suggestions, and brutal honesty where it lacked flow.
When I finally published it, I had in the back of my mind “It’s not done, I need more in there”
In the last 2 years, I have written 2 more books and they are sitting in really rough drafts at the moment, and I have plans to add a bit more to my first book and release a version 2.
I don’t know if I’m doing this “right” but I do know I’m not standing still. I can’t.
So, here's the deal: a rough draft isn't just about writing; it's like the first shot at anything new. It's a bit messy because, well, we're just starting out, and it takes time to get better, right?
Just for a second take a moment to ask yourself, what is my rough draft?
When we're faced with our rough drafts, we have three choices:
Hold Back: It's the safe route, the least nerve-wracking, but it might make you feel horrible.
Peek-A-Boo: You know, kind of shyly sharing your rough draft with the world, maybe on social media or with friends, hear crickets, and go back in hiding. I'm definitely guilty of that.
Boldly Embrace It: This one's about taking your rough draft, owning it, sharing it, knowing there's more work to be done. The real magic doesn't happen at the start – it's the journey from the rough draft to the final version and beyond that truly counts. If we don't practice or seek outside input, we'll stay stuck in one place.
Picture yourself on a hike to a place you've never been before. You're at a point where you're a bit freaked out, clinging to the mountainside. I’ve been there, on the Juan De Fuca Trail with feet instability in mud on the edge of a dropoff that drops down to the ocean.
If you move forward a couple of steps, you're moments away from an amazing view and a sense of achievement. If you crawl back, it's the easier way, but you know you'd feel a mix of relief and regret.
So, what's your move? Do you push forward, or do you step back? Or maybe you decide to share your "rough draft"? It's going to be messy, far from perfect, and it might involve some serious effort – But once you're on the other side, you'll enjoy the view, take some sweaty selfies, and the next time around, it'll be a bit easier.
Remember, what you do physically, you can do emotionally. So, what "rough draft" are you holding onto?