Why Starting a Rough Draft Can be so Hard

It isn’t often that we give a whole lot of thought to our rough drafts. By the time we sit and start writing, we have so many other things on our minds that the actual draft becomes more of “just a step” instead of the fundamental building block it truly is.

When you sit to start the rough draft, it can be often overwhelming and sometimes difficult.

Even if we know what to say we spend more time deleting and editing on the spot than we do actually writing. this is something that can be fixed. Let’s find out how.

Starting a rough draft
Starting a rough draft is much easier if you have a plan of attack

Are You Prepared for Starting a Rough Draft?

Often attributed to a lack of progress is preparedness. This is no different when it comes to writing. If you are not prepared to write, making words go can be a difficult task.

While this affliction hits all of us sooner or later, the exciting aspect of starting a new project shouldn’t be a part of that. For many, though, it is. One of the best things we can do is form a writing routine, and be as prepared as possible for the task at hand.

A Writing Routine? Even for a Rough Draft?

Think of writing as a sport. If you do the same prep work every time, it will become second nature. As a comparison, in baseball, the batter puts on his helmet and grabs a bat, walking to the on-deck circle to wait his turn at the plate.

While there, he will go through a series of swings, stretches and adjustments. This little routine will be different for each batter. However, each batter will do the same routine each time.

Writing is the same thing. Before you ever start typing, you should go through a little routine. This will enable you to concentrate on your words and the task at hand rather than doing a start-stop. Try not to have to go back for things you forgot.

Like the baseball players, each writer will have a different routine. Perhaps you have to get the desk ready, your papers in order or pour yourself the right amount of tea.

What is My Routine?

I follow my personal routine every time I am starting a rough draft. Be it the next chapter, or an article for a client, I go through the same process each time.

  • First and foremost is coffee. Without my coffee, I tend to sit there, wishing I had coffee.
  • Once my coffee is sorted, I make sure I have my notebook and pen handy. If the notebook isn’t open to my notes page for the task, I turn it to that page. Or, I’ll create one if needed.
  • After the notebook is ready, I adjust my chair, even if it has been done 100 times previously.
  • I power on the computer, turn on the wireless mouse and keyboard and take my seat as everything boots up.
  • While the computer is loading I will read over my notes or to-do lists. I’ll make any additional remarks in my notebook that are needed.
  • Once everything is on and ready, I open my writing software and get started. Often I won’t check for updates or even look at my email until I have the first section of the project completed.

Your routine may be more (or even less) involved. Like a lot of sports players, writers tend to be superstitious as well. If you have to place all of your items in the same spot, knock on the desk 8 times and then not sit until the computer is fully booted, do it.

Like I state many times in the Extra Draft Writing course, there aren’t any rules to writing. If it works for you, do it. The key, though is to be able to sit, uninterrupted and begin writing when it is time to write.

I Already Have a Routine, What’s Next?

If you already have a routine, great! You still need to ensure you are properly prepared for whatever the task is. I will stick to novel writing, here, but any written task is the same.

You need to make sure that you have your outline (if you are a Planner) or your notes and ideas that you jotted down to help keep you on track (if you are a Pantser). Your rough draft should start with some sort of structure.

Having your outline, your notes or the Visual Web, will help you face the new page of a rough draft and know where to start.

You may not have a clear idea yet where the story will go, but you will know where to start. Even if that means starting in the middle, or the end.

Are There Other Options?

There are a plethora of options available. We have covered a lot of options during this themed Ideas Week. If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, you are missing a lot of extra help in there, too.

Look at both of those and tell your friends to sign up!

Until next time, Have fun; Write words.

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