Posted by: nancyisanders | May 30, 2013

The First Draft


Yesterday I was working on a new concept I had for a brand new picture book. I was sitting outside on our back patio having lunch. I sat there and stared at the paper.

I’d think of one way to say it. Then I’d think of another way to say it. And so on and so on until after 20 minutes or so I still didn’t have a single word written down on my paper.


Because I couldn’t think of the PERFECT thing to say.

Suddenly, it dawned on me…THIS IS SILLY!!!!!

I was working on a first draft. But my perfectionista brain was fighting to take control. Yikes!

So I went into my office and made myself a sign. I printed out this sign and now have it posted on my desk where I can be sure to read it and remind myself that a first draft will NOT be perfect.

So if you struggle with getting anything down because it’s just not PERFECT, then print out this sign and hang it next to where you write.

And write that first draft!

Because after you do, you’ll have a fabulous foundation to build upon as you construct your manuscript.

First Draft


  1. Yes, yes, yes…I am so guilty of this. I don’t want to write any words down until they are perfect. I know that this makes no sense. and I love revising what I write, but I still try to wait until the words are perfect before I put them on my paper or computer screen. I shall make myself a sign right now!

    • Yay! Already I’m feeling so much more freedom today as I write, knowing the first draft is supposed to be NOT perfect because it’s a first draft!!! Hope you do too!!!!

  2. Love this, Nancy! I downloaded it. πŸ™‚

  3. This is where we get down to the nitty-gritty: I want to do it perfectly the first time because I don’t want to have to do it AGAIN. I’ve been doing some illustrating lately and this has brought my well-covered slothful streak to the surface. If it takes me two hours to draw a picture I do not WANT to do it again. πŸ™‚

    • This made me smile, Christine! Been there totally!!!!

  4. Haha! I love this, Nancy! I have the ‘perfectionista’ disease too. Thanks for the sign!! I’m printing it out now. Wonderful!!

    • Great, Val! And don’t you just love that word…perfectionista? It’s gotta be in a dictionary somewhere!!!!

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