The Dreaded First Draft

Writing is hard: True fact.

You have to organize your thoughts more clearly than if you were just talking, because when you talk you can backtrack and fill in details that you left out. Writing has to be more organized than that.

The first draft is allowed to be a mess!

Student tried to get the first draft perfect, and kept crossing everything out after writing only two or three sentences.  I advised Student to just keep writing, then revise after the paragraph was complete.

Don’t even write the introduction paragraph until you know what you are introducing.

  • Something had to be done.
    • Student was too frustrated to continue.
  • Student lived away from the parental home, had Student had ever cooked supper?
    • Yes, a few times.
  • Does Student currently make edible food?
    • Yes, quite good food, thanks for changing hte topic.
  • Did the first supper Student ever cooked taste good?
    • No, it was awful. I threw it out.
  • But it got better?

Student wrote a paragraph and it was pretty bad – but not awful.

The second draft was not bad at all.

The terrible pie of first drafts:


The third draft was good enough to start working on the next paragraph.

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