at last, my own shitty first draft

27 Mar

There’s me. And see that in my hands? That’s 228 pages of blood, sweat, and tears. That’s late nights, early mornings, mind-numbing word spinning, and hours upon countless hours of contemplating, dreaming, and typing.

That’s my novel.

The first draft of it, anyway.

Writing a novel is a curious task. It makes a person fickle. There are moments of highs where the writer feels like she is creating something great, and there are moments of lows where the writer sees only an enormous pile of crap looking back at her, heaped higher and higher by her precious time.

This has been a hard lesson to learn, and I’m still wincing at the idea: First drafts take copious amounts of time and energy… and still suck.

The infamous first draft has been dubbed by writers as the “shitty first draft”. I grasped the full concept of this as I worked up mine. There is good to be had, but first you have to wade through all the shit. And there’s a lot of it. And it smells. Bad.

I always assumed that great books started out as great first drafts, but it just isn’t so.

Justice Brandeis said, “There is no great writing; only great rewriting.”

Alian de Botton said, “People who go on to be writers are those who can forgive themselves the horror of the first draft.”

And Robert Cormier said, “The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time unlike, say, brain surgery.”

So, here is to my very own shitty first draft, and to the process that follows where I pour even more of my time and energy into it, pulling out the greatness I know is there… somewhere.

I’m gonna need a pitch fork because this stuff is up to my knees…




5 Responses to “at last, my own shitty first draft”

  1. bjpramann March 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    HA! Isn’t just too bad that there is no other way to write a book then taking a giant brain dump and then shifting through the after math for that diamond ring you know is in there some where?

  2. bjpramann March 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on wordsandpicturesbj and commented:
    Since I’ve not been blogging (though, it’s nice to be so busy, so I’m not really complaining) here is a writer buddy of mine who has put down in words exactly what goes into a first draft.

  3. Tom Demma (Dad) March 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Hooray, Dustin. I know you are up to the task. And you know I am here for you as I know that you are here for me. You have inspired me tremendously. Start Mucking that Novel.

  4. DeeDee March 29, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    I’m Screaming!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. earth2laurag January 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    See this? This is what I am striving for… day after day! You inspire me.. I hope by then end of Jan this will be me!!!!!!!!!!!!

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