Tip #16: Rough Drafts Should Be Rough



“Get comfortable with rough rough drafts. It is the rare writer who gets it right the first time. Even the most renowned authors in history carefully revised and edited their work before publishing. American poet Walt Whitman was always reworks his collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass, releasing six different editions before his death in 1892. One reason students find writing tiresome is that they think they have to write a perfect paper on the first try. That kind of thinking adds too much pressure to the drafting process. Relax. Just get something down. Some parts will be great; most of it will be awful. No problem. You can go back and fix the bad parts. There’s a reason we refer to first drafts as rough drafts.”


Please leave your comments and questions below.

About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Merri Larsen
    Merri Larsen04-16-2014

    This is such a gem! I only wish more writing teachers would stress these points. In the college writing center where I work, we often see stressed students who feel they cannot write well. Oftentimes, it is simply a misunderstanding of the necessity of rough ROUGH first drafts!

  2. Tony

    This is a great tip–only in the last year or so did I finally get it through my thick skull. I bogged myself down by editing/writing instead of just writing. Not only did it stifle momentum, but it led to stilted writing–I was treating each typed letter like I was carving it out of stone.

Leave a Reply

If you like a post, please take a second to click "like," and comment as often as you like.
We promise not to correct your grammar!