To keep your writing momentum going, the best tip I can give you—other than just showing up—is to eradicate your expectations about the quality of the first draft.


Because I have worked as a book editor for quite some time, I know that what I see before books go through a few rounds of professional editing. If I had my druthers, I would have most authors go through seven rounds of editing.


Most can’t afford that, and these days most publishing companies won’t offer that. Still, at least three edits are recommended. And, most authors will self-edit before they submit a manuscript to an editor or publisher.


I’ll give you another insight from my writing career to help you let go of editing. Before I started my own editorial company. I worked for the parent company of a major publisher, We had at least five people weighing in on a draft of a printed piece, and it was looked at no less than two times by each of those people (So that’s at least 10 rounds of editing!).


Only a handful of times in working with more than 150 writers during the last two decades have I gotten a piece of writing that didn’t need any editing. So, if you want to get words out, let your rough drafts be truly rough.


Don’t just take my advice though about how rough a rough draft is. Anne Lamott, well-known writer of Bird by Bird tells us that all first drafts are ****ty. I’ve also heard leaders in the field call the first draft their “vomit” draft…


If people who are leading writers give this advice, it’s probably wise to follow their lead…and trust me, you will want to self-edit when it’s time to edit anyway…If you are serious about making your book or project excellent, you will want to hire an editor when it’s time.


Blessings to you in the writing process! I’m routing you on!


P.S. If you’d like someone to hold your hand and guide you step by step through the writing process, I’d like to invite you to one of my upcoming writing classes. Or, I’d be happy to work with you on an individual basis through writing coaching! Email me at if you are interested!

As mentioned in Our Story Magazine’s Spring Issue, pp. 121–124

If you are struggling to write under stress, you are
not alone!


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