Writing is hard. There’s no denying that. Sitting in front of a blank page and trying to create something real, something evocative, with nothing but the black marks called letters, well that can be daunting. It’s easy to get scared before you even begin and not produce anything at all.
That being said, if there’s one thing that I’ve learnt it’s that no first draft has to be perfect. That takes a lot of the pressure off. All you really need to do is sit down and produce something, anything and then go on from there.
I know that some writers talk about stories they’ve just sat down and written, but those are the exceptions. For most writers, writing consists of slaving over draft after draft, slowly creating something worth reading. Writing and rewriting a piece might sound horrible, but in fact it is liberating. It gives you the freedom, at least to begin with, to create freely without worrying about the end result. What you end up with is more often than not at all similar to what you started with. Most of the time it’s much, much better.
As an example of this I’m going to post another draft of the story Connie (down below). It isn’t the best example of successful re-writing but it shows just how much a text can change with revision. I workshopped this piece with some other writers and after a few different drafts came up with something much darker and more likely to appeal to a wider audience.