… so don’t sweat the small stuff. Or, KJ Charles lays down some good advice.
I admit learning to first draft is one of the tools I needed to develop to help me actually, like, finish writing novels. Prior to that, I’d always get bogged down after the first ten-to-twenty thousand words, going over with revisions and edits and whatnot until eventually just losing interest.
Nowadays I don’t bother with that–I barely even re-read what I’m currently working on until it’s done–and the number one thing that’s helped me is the fact I now do most of my writing on my phone.
It’s hard to edit on a phone. Especially because I work on Scrivener exports, where each scene is a different file and swapping between them is a pain.
My rule for first drafts is that they just have to get done. Whether the words flow like water or each one feels like it’s being pulled from me on razorwire, whether I’m writing twenty thousand words in a day or twenty, it just needs to happen. In the same way every oil painting starts with a sketch, then a wash, then rough colours that slowly morph into the full render, so does a first draft not have to be a final.
It’s a damn hard thing to learn to do, though.