Why Your First Draft Should Absolutely Suck

So. As you probably noticed, I didn't post anything last week. That was because I was constantly on the go with classes, homework, work, hangouts with friends, birthday parties, and a whooole lot of iced hazelnut lattes.
But thankfully, tomorrow is my last class of the semester! WHOO! I will finally have a break to focus on writing! And... working. Yay.
Anyway, now that I'll have some extra time for writing, I'm going to be majorly focusing on editing my finished books as well as writing the first draft of my fantasy book (which still very much needs a title. Bleh.)
Like I've said before, I've had the idea for my fantasy book brewing in my mind for years. Now, I am officially on chapter four! Know what that means?
This is the longest it has ever taken me to write a first draft. Ever.
Okay, so I've only written two books. But still! It took me just about six months to finish the first draft of Unperfected and four to finish Altered. I've been seriously working on this fantasy book since the end of December/beginning of January, and I am only on chapter four.
For me, this is extremely unusual. Usually I fly through my first drafts and write thousands of words a day. Now I'm lucky if I get more than a hundred in a week.
That being said, I realized something as I read through those four measly chapters the other day--something that I'm hoping will help me speed up and write this first draft fast. Maybe you're like me and have suddenly found yourself writing at a very, very, very slow pace. Or maybe your pace is slow all the time, and you want to speed it up. Or maybe you write drafts at a slow pace and you really like it. In that case, thank you for reading this far because this post will be no help to you at all. Moving on!

#1. You finish fast. If you focus your attention on getting the basics of your story down on paper rather than making every single sentence perfect, you'll find the pages flying by. As I wrote a chapter for my fantasy story the other day, I focused on getting down what I wanted to say. I ignored the parts that I knew could be rewritten and wrote down whatever came to mind first. In the end, I had written the whole chapter in about an hour, and after letting it sit for a day or two I reread it and learned that it really wasn't that bad.
#2. You learn to edit later. This has always been such a struggle for me, but now that I'm allowing my first draft to suck, it's become a lot easier to ignore the temptation. Editing while you write can slow you down as well as frustrate you, especially if you're anything like me.
#3. You learn to edit better. Once you're finished with your imperfect first draft, you get to go over it multiple times and transform it into something great. Editing, like writing, is one of those skills that gets better with practice. So the more you have to edit, the better at editing you'll get.
#4. You learn to push yourself. This is especially true if you tend to write at a slow pace or edit a lot while you're writing. When you push yourself to try something different, such as allowing your first draft to suck, you're pushing yourself as a writer. That means you'll most likely learn something about yourself or your writing style that may benefit you in the future.
#5. You grow as a writer. Allowing your first draft to suck is amazing because it has so many benefits you wouldn't expect. It lets you relax and enjoy writing rather than worrying about publication or how other people will react to your words. It's a great way for you to get the chance to write something for yourself, which I think every writer needs to do every so often.

I'm sure there are many other benefits to allowing your first draft to suck, but these five are at least what I've seen from personal experience. Hopefully now that my semester is coming to a close, I'll be able to really focus and finish this first draft fast!

For more info about my fantasy book (or any of my other WIP's) you can check out my pinterest boards or send me a message!

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8