A huge attitude in the writing community is cringing at our old writing. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Maybe it was someone yelling “Burn my first draft with fire!” or a whole Youtube video dedicated to reading cringe-worthy old writing.
What is it about us writers that enjoy hating on our beginnings? Why do we have to see our first drafts or stories we scribbled as preteens as things to be burned? Because it’s not cute or funny, y’all. I don’t care how many likes complaining about old writing will get you on Twitter–it isn’t right.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin,” – Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)
Is it a constant struggle not to wanna lock our first drafts away in a dark cave for the rest of our lives? Sure. A first draft isn’t supposed to be publishing ready. It is supposed to be EXACTLY what it is. A start. I’m the first to admit how ROUGH a first draft can be. You guys haven’t seen the first drafts of Seek, or the very first draft of The Divided Nation, which was titled AWAKE, and believe me when I say, they needed work. But you know what I won’t say? I won’t say they were terrible, because that’s quite disrespectful to say when I asked God to help me write them!
Without our silly stories we wrote as a kid, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Without our rough first drafts, we wouldn’t be having the fourth draft of that same novel being ready to meet the world. My point being, don’t despite small beginnings. Don’t despise the raw, rough, jumbled starts because without them, we won’t go anywhere. I don’t care how ‘bad’ we might see something, if we wrote it with the intention to glorify the Lord, that is enough. Don’t forget that. God doesn’t want perfect. He wants us to follow Him.
Instead of cringing, rejoice that God brought you this far. Instead of complaining, have faith God will keep moving you forward. As Christian authors, WE are supposed to be the difference in the world, and a huge way of doing that is breaking the mold of despising our beginnings!
What are YOUR thoughts on first drafts? I’d love to chat.
PS. Sign ups to beta read The Divided Nation (dysto/apoc novel) end in a few days and I really would appreciate some, as strange as it sounds, GUY betas! If you’re interested or know someone who might be, check out the link. Thanks! (Please note there are limited slots left!)