Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Getting Over First Draft Jitters - Guest Post by Katy Kauffman

They let me go first. When my dad won two tickets to the Delta flight simulator in Atlanta, Georgia, he chose me to go with him. After a tour of the facility and the stationary simulators, I was shocked at the size of the moving simulator. Mounted on hydraulics and the size of a small house, it stood ready for our rookie flight. I was the first one to try it.  

I nearly crashed my “plane.” As I descended, I came in either too steep or too fast, and before the simulator could portray a crash landing, the instructor hit a button and we were back in the air. Do over!

When I saw the runway once more on the screen before me, my stomach knotted. I was afraid of messing up again. On the second landing, the plane hopped once, and then all was fine. Steering the plane with my feet was another story.

When we write, we need “do overs.” Rarely is a first draft perfect. The comforting thing about rewriting is that even if we crash on the first draft, we get a second chance. Just as pilots can try and fail safely in a simulator, we writers can craft our books in a protected environment. The only draft that someone will read of our writing is the last one. So don’t let “first draft jitters” keep you from writing. Overcome your fears of not getting it right the first time, and rewrite to your heart’s content. (Or until the deadline comes!)

Remember these 5 things to get over first draft jitters and to see rewriting as a safe place to try and keep trying:

  • Even bestselling authors have editors.
  • If you demand perfection from yourself in the first draft, you will likely limit your creativity and the writing may come out stiff or dry.
  • Aim for the quality you want, and keep flying in that direction until you get there.
  • Editing is your friend, not your enemy—it makes anyone’s writing better and better.
  • We grow as we write and rewrite—we learn, we imagine, we stretch, we discover, and we improve.
  • What do you do to get over first draft jitters? Tell us in the comments below. No one else has your voice, your imagination, or your take on life. Hop into the pilot’s seat—or computer chair—and keep writing!

Katy loves to read novels late at night and write Bible studies by day. She is the award-winning author of 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory and Faith, Courage, and Victory. She is also an editor and a designer for two online magazines, Refresh Bible Study Magazine and Broken but Priceless: The Magazine.

She loves to connect with writers of all genres and enjoys looking for new contributors for Refresh. If you’re interested in writing for Teen’s Corner in the magazine or choosing from a list of writing topics, e-mail her at for more information. You can also connect with Katy at her blog, Life with God, or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.

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How do you get over the "first draft jitters"? Let us know in the comments!


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1 comment:

  1. Hey Tessa! I loved this post! I reblogged it on my writing collar blog


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