Anything but Perfect

I'm working on a new wip and I think I've made a few mistakes in the opening chapters. Specifically, I've introduced the romantic interest a little early maybe? Or maybe I did not. I'm not quite sure yet. And you know what? It doesn't matter. Well, it matters a little based on where I go next with it, but in the long run, it doesn't matter. Why? Because I'm writing a first draft. There is a simple rule for first drafts: finished is better than good.

The purpose of the first draft is to build the framework of the house, not to build yourself a mansion that gets showed on MTV's "Cribs." It's going to suck. It will always suck. You don't publish your first draft. Never publish your first draft. You need to publish something that is mind-blowingly awesome and that is not your first draft. If you try to make something mind-blowingly awesome with your first draft, you will never finish.

All of you, I would wager, have done this when you first started to write professionally. You wrote your introductory chapters. Then you revised them and wrote a few more chapters. Then you went back and revised again. And again. And again. You just needed to get it right and that would make the rest of the book better. It was an investment, you would tell yourself. If I can make the beginning perfect, then I won't take any wrong turns later on.

Your first draft is anything but perfect. Accept that and soldier on. Don't revise the chapter you just finished. Write the one that comes after then the one that comes after that and the one that comes after that. At some point you'll get to the end of your story and then you can go back and revise.

Writing a manuscript does not make for an awesome novel. Revising a manuscript makes for an awesome novel.