Here’s a secret about writing first drafts which I have discovered – you can fill your first draft with plot holes, a saggy storyline, typos, bad grammar and dull chapters and then…HAND it OVER to the future you.
That’s right – you can grab your first draft with all its writing issues and hand it over to the future you. No need to worry about what you have produced.
All you do is you shove your first draft in an electronic folder or a phsyical drawer and walk away. There’s no need to burn it, bury it in the back garden or hide it away under your bed.
The future you will one day come up with a way of fixing that major plot hole. They will know what to do with those troublesome characters and they will come up with a much better ending. The future you will do big things with that first draft you have been struggling with and what’s great is they will thank you for giving them something to work with.
Sometimes we just need to get things down on paper, so that in the future we will have something to mould, sculpt and shape.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to make our stories work right now and if they don’t work today, we quickly shelve them.
We forget that in the future we might be better equipped to tackle our novel writing issues.
As soon as you start delegating crappy first drafts to the future writer version of yourself you will experience a new kind of writer joy. You will feel comforted that the future you will sort out your mess of a story.
This joy you will feel will put a twinkle in your eye and skip in your step. That first draft is not your problem anymore. Let me say that again – it’s not your problem!
Don’t despair if the sight of your first draft novel makes you cry. The future you will be ready and waiting to correct that pile of literary wrongs.
Things can get so bad when you are writing your first draft. Your finger will gravitate towards the ‘delete’ button and everyday you will contemplate starting again with the story. In this situation, I ask you to stop for a moment and consider this:
- Your future self will not thank you for giving up like this. They will have nothing to work with.
- How do you know your future self won’t do amazing things with this story?
So, here’s what you do.
Finish difficult first draft, add post it note to the front and scribble, ‘Dear Future Me, here’s a little something I made earlier for you, enjoy xxx’
Stick in folder, smile and skip away. The future you will sort that out later. Doesn’t this feel amazing?
Look at the future you as an extra writing resource!
Thinking like this has changed my entire outlook on writing. Sigh.
I do hope the future me is ready for work!
Keep writing and smiling x