From Draft to Published

What are you writing?

Hi, Kelly Eden here from Medium.

This week I’ve been continuing to work on my creative non-fiction. That’s my professional development focus for this year and so far I’m loving it.

What are you working on at the moment?

I promised another trick for speeding up your draft this week, so let’s get to it:

Trick #3

When I was growing up, I only tried things I knew I could do well. I was a high achiever and a real perfectionist.

If I was bad at something on the first try, I decided it wasn’t “my thing” and moved on.

That attitude carried on into my adult life.

Then one day, early in my writing career, I won an nationwide award for fiction. The prize was a full year of mentoring with a successful author. I’d commit 20 hours a week to it and come out with a full length novel.

Past winners had gone on to become famous authors and find a lot of success.

I didn’t.

I got half way through and life got in the way. It became a huge struggle to find 20 hours in my week to write. When I did sit down at my laptop, I struggled.

I had entered the contest thinking I wouldn’t win it. I was a short story writer. I didn’t believe I could write a full novel. Novel writing wasn’t “my thing.” When I won, that belief held me back. I learnt a lot, but never finished my book.

What do you believe about your writing? Do you start a draft thinking it’s going to be terrible? Do you believe no-one will buy it or read it?

When I start writing anything now, I make sure my mindset is this:

I am going to write something brilliant today and people will love it.

Then I aim to write something average. Because the first draft is almost ALWAYS average. In fact it’s often terrible. The brilliant bit comes in the editing stage.

So trick #2: Believe it’ll be brilliant by the third or fourth edit.

Often when writers in my Personal Essay Workshop send their first draft to me they say, “This is terrible!” and I think, “So what!”

What matters is if it has POTENTIAL to be great.

Take the pressure off and believe in yourself.

Remember to comment about what your working on! I’d love to hear about it.

Kelly