You’ve heard the term, “dance like no one’s watching”, right? Well when it comes to writing, the same concept applies. Write like no one is going to read it.
When I first started writing I was terrified to actually write. I could outline books for days but I would procrastinate actually writing for as long as possible. I was afraid of what I was going to write. I was afraid it wouldn’t be good enough. My brain thought that as soon as I put it on paper (or keyboard, etc) that someone could tell me how bad I was at writing. Sound familiar?
Here’s what I learned the hard way.
No one is going to see your rough draft unless you show them.
You have complete control over who sees your writing at any point in time. As long as you keep your rough draft in a place that no one else can get to it, no one can read it. There are encrypted flash drives, password protected apps, and locked safes that can protect your work if you are worried – but as long as you don’t show anyone your rough draft, no one can read it.
Just because you write it doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.
Whether you write with a pen, pencil, or keyboard, your writing is not permanent. Anything you write can be changed if you don’t like it. If you find that something different works better for your story, you can change it. Just because you wrote it down, doesn’t mean it’s going to be in your book.
When you have finished editing and revising, the book won’t look anything like the rough draft.
Everyone’s rough draft sucks. No matter if you are just starting out or have been writing for years, everyone’s first draft sucks. Don’t be ashamed of it. Chances are, when your book is finished, it will look nothing like your first draft (which is a good thing). The editing and revising process are the hardest steps in writing a book but they are what makes a book into the final manuscript that you let people actually read.
We don’t write for other people anyway, we write for ourselves. We write because we have to get the stories out or we’ll burst. Write like no one is going to read it because they won’t until you are ready. No one will read what you write unless you let them. Write for you…and if you want to dance like no one’s watching first, go for it…no one will ever know.