Accepting Drafts

One of the things I wrote about last time was accepting failure. I wrote that you should be willing to accept risk and fall flat on your face in a very public way (if necessary) in order to get you to not only do some of the great work you’re capable of, but also to get you to start working in the first place. If you follow that advice (as I’ve painfully taught myself to) you’ll find that you still don’t get amazing drafts right out of the gate. Sure, you put in the hard work and fail your face off, but when you look back at those failures you might find them to be a little lacklustre. This is a potential problem, and a possible downer (but, remember, they were supposed to be failures, right?) I wanted to make sure I came back today to make sure that you continue on your journey after the failure.

But what about the second draft. You’ve failed once (marvelously) and moved onto trying to coax something new and vibrant out of that failure. So you added some spice, subtracted some unnecessary words, and even added a dash of structure to the thing, but when you go back to read it you still find it very lacking indeed (perhaps even more so than your initial failure). This can be debilitating to your desire to continue the project. Perhaps you feel that you really didn’t pick the right topic (you could be right), or that you didn’t quite come in from the right angle (also a possibility), but somewhere deep down you feel like you did your homework and you can make this work but it just isn’t working. Sound sort of familiar? (This happens to me all of the time). You need to understand that a draft is a draft is a draft. They are not the final product. They are stepping-stones towards a final product. When I was an undergrad I always worried about getting my first draft done by the due date. I can’t tell you how much my understanding and abilities changed when I realized that a draft was just a draft. Not the final thing, but a starting point. Understand that (and give yourself enough time), and you’ll be on your way to a great success in no time.

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