It’s true — The first draft of anything is always shitty

3 min readMar 1


No matter how hard you work on it or how talented you think you are, the first draft of anything — be it a story, a project, a report, an email — it will always be shitty.

It may be well thought out and have good ideas, but it’s never going to be perfect.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Writing, like many forms of creative venture, is a process that takes commitment, patience, and perseverance. Even the most successful writers struggle with their initial manuscripts.

The first draft is the first attempt to put ideas down on paper, and it is rarely great. Ernest Hemingway is frequently credited with coining the term:

“the first draft of anything is trash”

recognizing the significance of rewriting and editing to improve the quality of his work.

Writers must first lay out their thoughts and ideas before going on to later stages of refining and polishing them. This methodology is just like what a painter does before adding color and detail to their subject. The first draft is really only a starting point, nowhere near the final, and should not be considered so.

The creative process will be disorganized and messy

Writing is an exploratory activity, and many writers do not know what they want to convey until they begin writing. The first draft is a means of getting ideas out of one’s head and onto the page, but it is not the final product. Writers must experiment with many approaches and ideas, and the first draft allows them to do so. It is an opportunity to discover areas that warrant improvement and to polish the writing. Writers must be willing to modify and edit their work, and the first draft is an important part of that process.

The initial draft frequently reflects the writer’s inner critic. Writers are frequently their own harshest critics, and the first draft can serve as a release valve for self-doubt and pessimism. Writing is a revising process. There is always space for development no matter how excellent a writer is.

Writers may doubt their ability, pass severe judgment on their work, and struggle to find the proper words. The first draft is not a representation of the writer’s merit or aptitude, and it should not be regarded as such.

The first draft of anything is frequently seen as inadequate for a variety of reasons.

Writing is a process that necessitates practice, refinement, and editing, and the first draft is only the beginning. The creative process can be untidy and chaotic, and writers must experiment with many ideas and approaches.

The first draft is an opportunity to discover areas that need improvement and to polish the writing. Writers frequently experience self-doubt and negativity, yet the initial draft does not reflect their worth or aptitude.

Ultimately, writing is an iterative process, and writers frequently need to produce numerous revisions before reaching a final product. The first draft is an important phase in the process, and writers should not be too hard on themselves for writing a less-than-perfect first draft.

P.S. — This article is published only after a 4th revision.