Literary Liaisons

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Celebration of the ‘First Shitty Draft’!!!!

abelourSomeone very experienced and wise once told me that to be successful on the long, arduous, rejection ridden, lonely writer’s path requires that you stop and celebrate the little things, like times when your work resonates, or you reach a goal. SO, today I celebrate the completion of the first ‘shitty draft’ of my next novel, currently titled, Garden of Lies. Wheh!
In case you’re not familiar with the term, ‘Shitty Drafts’ it was coined by author, Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird) Her title comes from a family story. When her brother, at age 10, was overcome while writing a report on birds, her writer father’s reassuring advice was, “Bird-by-bird, Buddy. Just take
it bird by bird.” Lamott writes about the power and the effectiveness of first drafts, of getting ideas on paper just for the purpose of later intensifying, clarifying, and unifying them. For many writers, just as for Lamott’s brother, there’s comfort in allowing yourself to write a muddled first draft, knowing each subsequent draft will refine what’s already there. Lamott’s advice on “Shitty First Drafts” also reminds us that all first drafts are dreadful. Unity and, yes, genius come from revision. So, celebrate your first shitty drafts.
Abelour Scotch is my new celebration partner. Of course this celebratory mood will be short lived because now the real writerly work begins; the dreaded rewrite.

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6 comments on “Celebration of the ‘First Shitty Draft’!!!!

  1. momcatt
    June 17, 2015

    Mindy – I love your advice! I am not yet finished with my shitty first draft, but I have finally started it! I like to celebrate as I craft the bud of each chapter – I guess I need a little more encouragement along the way!

    • Mindy
      June 17, 2015

      Keep going momcatt, one bud at a time. Good luck. Cheers, Mindy

  2. Behind the Story
    June 11, 2015

    Congratulations on the completion of your first shitty draft. Good working title. I actually like the “dreaded rewrite.”

    • Mindy
      June 11, 2015

      Oh my God! You like the rewrite. You’re a rare writer gem.

  3. dianabaileyharris
    June 11, 2015

    Thanks for this reassurance that what I’m trying to do is supposed to work. 😉

    • Mindy
      June 11, 2015

      It’s all a process, and we all find our own way through it. Best of luck with your first ‘shitty draft’. Mindy

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