My best friend gave me some valuable advice about writing. Although it was provided in the context of academic publishing, it could really apply to any aspect of life. As this is blog is rated PG, I will paraphrase and say that she advocates for a ‘Sad’ First Draft (SFD).
The SFD is far from perfect. The idea is to get thoughts onto a page in whatever form they can be extracted from the mind. There is no self-editing or polishing. The only objective is to transfer what is up here [gestures at head] down here [gestures at computer screen].
I’ve written about perfectionsim and how it can be paralyzing. Although it is uncomfortable for me, I’m learning to embrace the SFD philosophy in all of the spaces I inhabit.
Having just finished the SFD of the second chapter of my doctoral dissertation, I can say that I’m not perfect at being not perfect, but I am making progress.