this was sitting in my drafts why not

Drafting: The Theory of Shitty First Drafts

Writing books often exhort you to “write a shitty first draft,” but I always resisted this advice. After all,

  1. I was already writing shitty drafts, even when I tried to write good ones. Why go out of my way to make them shittier?
  2. A shitty first draft just kicks the can down the road, doesn’t it? Sooner or later, I’d have to write a good draft—why put it off?
  3. If I wrote without judging what I wrote, how would I make any creative choices at all?
  4. That first draft inevitably obscured my original vision, so I wanted it to be at least slightly good.
  5. Writing something shitty meant I was shitty.

So for years, I kept writing careful, cramped, painstaking first drafts—when I managed to write at all. At last, writing became so joyless, so draining, so agonizing for me that I got desperate: I either needed to quit writing altogether or give the shitty-first-draft thing a try.

Turns out everything I believed about drafting was wrong.

For the last six months, I’ve written all my first drafts in full-on don’t-give-a-fuck mode. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

“Shitty first draft” is a misnomer

A rough draft isn’t just a shitty story, any more than a painter’s preparatory sketch is just a shitty painting. Like a sketch, a draft is its own kind of thing: not a lesser version of the finished story, but a guide for making the finished story.

Once I started thinking of my rough drafts as preparatory sketches, I stopped fretting over how “bad” they were. Is a sketch “bad”? And actually, a rough draft can be beautiful the same way a sketch is beautiful: it has its own messy energy.

Don’t try to do everything at once

People who make complex things need to solve one kind of problem before they can solve others. A painter might need to work out where the big shapes go before they can paint the details. A writer might need to decide what two people are saying to each other before they can describe the light in the room or what those people are doing with their hands.

I’d always embraced this principle up to a point. In the early stages, I’d speculate and daydream and make messy notes. But that freedom would end as soon as I started drafting. When you write a scene, I thought, you have to start with the first word and write the rest in order. Then it dawned on me: nobody would ever see this! I could write the dialogue first and the action later; or the action first and the dialogue later; or some dialogue and action first and then interior monologue later; or I could write the whole thing like I was explaining the plot to my friend over the phone. The draft was just one very long, very detailed note to myself. Not a story, but a preparatory sketch for a story. Why not do it in whatever weird order made sense to me?

Get all your thoughts onto the page

Here’s how I used to write: I’d sit there staring at the screen and I’d think of something—then judge it, reject it, and reach for something else, which I’d most likely reject as well—all without ever fully knowing what those things were. And once you start rejecting thoughts, it’s hard to stop. If you don’t write down the first one, or the second, or the third, eventually your thought-generating mechanism jams up. You become convinced you have no thoughts at all.

When I compare my old drafts with my new ones, the old ones look coherent enough. They’re presentable as stories. But they suck as drafts, because I can’t see myself thinking in them. I have no idea what I wanted that story to be. These drafts are opaque and airless, inscrutable even to me, because a good 90% of what I was thinking while I wrote them never made it onto the page.

These days, most of my thoughts go onto the page, in one form or another. I don’t waste time figuring out how to say something, I just ask, “what are you trying to say here?” and write that down. Because this isn’t a story, it’s a plan for a story, so I just need the words to be clear, not beautiful. The drafts I write now are full of placeholders and weird meta notes, but when I read them, I can see where my mind is going. I can see what I’m trying to do. Consequently, I no longer feel like my drafts obscure my original vision. In fact, their whole purpose is to describe that vision.

Drafts are memos to future-you

To draft effectively, you need a personal drafting style or “language” to communicate with your future self (who is, of course, the author of your second draft). This language needs to record your ideas quickly so it can keep up with the pace of your imagination, but it needs to do so in a form that will make sense to you later. That’s why everyone’s drafts look different: your drafting style has to fit the way your mind works.

I’m still working mine out. Honestly, it might take a while. But recently, I started writing in fragments. That’s just how my mind works: I get pieces of sentences before I understand how to fit them together. Wrestling with syntax was slowing me down, so now I just generate the pieces and save their logical relationships for later. Drafting effectively means learning these things about yourself. And to do that, you can’t get all judgmental. You can’t fret over how you should be writing, you just gotta get it done.

Messy drafts are easier to revise

I find that drafting quickly and messily keeps the story from prematurely “hardening” into a mute, opaque object I’m afraid to change. I no longer do that thing, for instance, where I endlessly polish the first few paragraphs of a draft without moving on. Because how do you polish a bunch of fragments taped together with dashes? A draft that looks patently “unfinished” stays malleable, makes me want to dig my hands in and move stuff around.

You already have ideas

Sitting down to write a story, I used to feel this awful responsibility to create something good. Now I treat drafting simply as documenting ideas I already have—not as creation at all, but as observation and description. I don’t wait around for good words or good ideas. I just skim off whatever’s floating on the surface and write it down. It’s that which allows other, potentially better ideas to surface.

As a younger writer, my misery and frustration perpetuated themselves: suppressing so many thoughts made my writing cramped and inhibited, which convinced me I had no ideas, which made me even more afraid to write lest I discover how empty inside I really was. That was my fear, I guess: if I looked squarely at my innocent, unvetted, unvarnished ideas, I’d see how bad they truly were, and then I’d have to—what, pack up and go home? Never write again? I don’t know. But when I stopped rejecting ideas and started dumping them onto the page, the worst didn’t happen. In fact, it was a huge relief.


Next post: the practice of shitty first drafts

Ask me a question or send me feedback!

bless the stars
keith
bless the stars

MOOD: keith’s little laugh of relief when realizing he can go to shiro’s side

this is all i need to stay alive honestly

i can’t believe it’s sheith day  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (international holiday tbh)

6

crying: the comic.

or: a ‘missing scene’ (kinda) (well i used some canon dialogue) (so maybe an alternate scene?) from act ii of the spongebob musical, (chicago version i have no idea what’ll be different in NYC) ANYWAY because i needed there to be a moment where someone – anyone – just asks sandy to stay. and why not the person she puts everything on hold for to help? he woulda owed her that much.

Note: this is a continuation of a post // extremely long

101 reasons why Jikook/Kookmin is my ultimate OTP
or 101 times Jikook made my heart flutter (Part 2)

PART 1

51) A jikook compilation wouldn’t be a compilation without THE back hugs.

Hands on waist…

Chin on shoulder…

52) Not long after Jimin tweeted a pic of ramen, Jungkook indirectly replied to him by posting FOUR selcas of him along with a message telling him his ramen looked bland. idk about you but i found this interaction cute.

53) The artistic couple.The muscle pig and manggaetteok drawings that were featured in Snow App. They even drew the chicken drawings on the menu at Isac. I can imagine them sitting and drawing random things together. ㅠㅠ 

54) Jimin posted not one but three videos on Jungkook’s birthday, which means he wished Jungkook three times on SNS and made my head spin thrice.

55) Jimin and Jungkook took photos of each other sleeping.

56) When Jungkook thought there was no camera around when they were rounding the corner so he went up to Jimin and slid his hand around his waist. Little did he know they got caught on camera. I’d like to thank Yoongi’s vj for this awesome footage.

57) The many times Jimin has summoned Jungkook for Armys. In simpler words, Jungkook always tweets something after Jimin, and we all know how seldom he appears on Twitter.

58) “hyung has cute toes” Okay but like who lingers around his friend’s photo shoot and randomly blurts out that he has cute..toes????

59) The look! Jungkook’s expression when he’s feeding Jimin earns him a spot on this list haha. Tbh They’re kinda like eyefucking eo when jimin’s being fed. look at Jimin’s eyes. Apart from that I like how Jungkook fed him.

60) Their interactions the whole ISAC. Masterlist 👣

61)  How can I miss this? Jikook in Japan..this one has a special place in my heart. Back in 2016, it had been just a casual discussion between me and my friends on kakao. Never thought jikook would continue displaying PDA every single time they go to Japan. What’s more when they have very strict no-camera policy during concerts.

62) The amount of heart eyes they shoot at each other.

63) When they had a dinner date in the dorm to promote Mala Hot Chicken. What baffled me was that Jungkook mentioned beforehand he wanted to sleep but he still accompanied Jimin. I’m soft.

64) Jimin has made it very apparent, truly obvious that he likes jungkook. Whether it’s liking him as a dongsaeng, or just someone he’s extremely comfortable with, Jimin always, without failing, reminds us who he dotes on. “Why do I like you so much?” Lately, I’ve been crazy because I like Jungkook so much. I think of this as a start of something beautiful, and I am so glad Jimin didn’t even hesitate in expressing his feelings towards the maknae. I think this might have helped jungkook unwind. Look at jungkook now. That’s some character development right there :)

65) Massage. Quoted line from AHL mentor, Tony Jones “They are very touchy feely and to them, it’s nothing. I’d walk into the room and Suga’s massaging V’s neck or Jimin’s giving Jungkook an intimate back massage..”

66) When Jungkook bent down so he would get closer to Jimin and put the rein-kook headband on Jimin’s head. They’re separated a lot of times during fansigns but somehow they managed to get tgt at the end.

67) When Jungkook blows a kiss, then turns to Jimin whose lips are puckered and does the same to him, using the same fingers he used earlier. Okay I’ve been meaning to say this. Realistically speaking, if you pucker your lips and you put your fingers on them, wouldn’t your saliva stick to your fingers? I’m not trying to imply anything here, just genuinely asking haha.
140529 Ameba Studio

68) When a webtoon artist gave Jimin two dolls, but Jimin decided to give one to Jungkook. She even posted a webtoon of them. To be honest who wouldn’t?

69) *screams to the people in the back* ALL-NIGHTER FRIENDS!!! As written by the man himself, “ALL the time, it’s just the two of us doing something at night. I don’t know what we do”

70) Jungkook scribbling hearts all over Jimin’s birthday drawing. He’s one whipped man.

71) Just other instances Jungkook and Jimin flirting on stage. 

//gif above isn’t mine//

72) When Jimin and Jungkook chose each other when asked “if you were a girl, who would you date?”

73) The shocking fact that Jungkook demanded an apartment from Jimin as a graduation gift. Like, apartment? of all things? What kind of domesticity is this?

74) The way Jungkook takes care of Jimin even though he’s the younger one, and how Jimin is there when he’s the one seeking comfort.

75) I will never forget the Gayo Back hug, ever. I’ve mentioned back hug somewhere above, but this is different.This deserves a point of its own.

76) When Jimin took off one of his rings at the airport and gave it to jungkook.

77) When Jungkook stopped in front of Jimin during his part in For You at Osaka concert, and kind of directed the lyrics for Jimin. Jimin just couldn’t stop smiling afterward :(((
The lyrics are:
It smells like you
The road that I walk on
I plug my earphone to my status
My true feelings lie beyond there

78) When Jimin and Jungkook steered away from the bunch and instead opted for some alone on the cruise. people say you smile the brightest when you’re with someone you love, yes?

79) The fact that Jimin wanted to become napa cabbage after seeing Kook dressed up as a bunny, so he could eat him, albeit choosing to be cheese initially. What even is that statement lol 👣 

80) The morph of their dynamic. I kind of miss their old moments, when Jimin was bolder, more carefree, and Jungkook seemed to be too shy to reciprocate. (on camera). Now they have matured. They have grown up well. A wave of nostalgia sweeps over me. The transition of their relationship is extremely beautiful.

81) When Jimin became Jungkook’s makeup artist for a day, hovering around the set, even drawing a pic of a bird that’s used as a prop later.

82) their size difference might be exaggerated at times, but you really can’t deny that it is cute, even if it’s not much.

83) When Jungkook changed the lyrics in Spring Day to Jimin.                      
Like a small piece // Of Jimin // That floats in the air 

84) When Jungkook showed to the world what a sweet boyfriend he is,making jimin laugh, sitting him on his lap, hugging him on his birthday. Sweet sweet jungkookie.

85) Let’s state the obvious- 21CG choreos!!! i love how they evolved, just like their remarkable, legendary nmd lift.

86) Their sensual dance covers.

87) When Jungkook guides and encourages Jimin during games/missions.

88) The many times Jimin has been spotted wearing Jungkook’s clothes, despite the well-known fact that Jungkook doesn’t share clothes. Newsflash: Jungkook wears Jimin’s too!

89) We know Jungkook knows Jimin like the back of his hand, but that doesn’t mean that Jimin knows any less. I think they spend time together way too much.👣

90) How often the word “JIMIN” trips off Jungkook’s tongue- this what fascinates me the most. At one time he even mistook Jin for Jimin.

91) Jimin’s eagerness to kiss Jungkook for his Coming of Age, being the first one to hold out a hand for a game of Rock Paper Scissors. Bon Voyage season 1

92) When Jimin waited over an hour for Kook to finish filming BTS Flower Boy mini drama, even though he’d finished his part. Jimin couldn’t even stay mad at him for not telling, like how fond is he?


93) The fact that Jungkook is more than comfortable speaking in banmal with Jimin.He once said in Idol Party that he prefers talking in jeondaetmal (polite language) with his hyungs but look at the amount of times he’s dropped the honorific and called Jimin by his name. uhm, let’s talk about treating the other as equals?

94) Jimin and Jungkook, the human embodiment of Piske Usagi.

95) When Jungkook’s bro drew Jungkook as Muzi and Jimin as Con, the inseparable duo on Kakao. Bro knows. 👣

96) In Kkul FM 2016, When Jungkook and Jimin nearly intertwined their fingers . Scoffs bh seemed to think it’s okay to abruptly cut off their scene. What intrigues me most is that they weren’t even looking but their hands still somehow managed to find their way around. Also other instances they hold hands. I love how Jungkook’s slightly bigger hands envelop Jimin’s smaller ones. *Jimin’s pinky tho!*

97) How they’re destined to meet. The fact that they’re both from Busan, have matching moles, Jungkook’s bro named Junghyun and Jimin’s bro named Jihyun..imagine what would’ve happened had Jimin not been the last one to enter Bangtan.

98) When Jimin said he’d be looking at the ocean with Jungkook but Jungkook straight up rejected him and chose to go on a trip with his bro instead. It was quite a strong statement but a moment later Jungkook proved it wrong by reaching out and squeezing Jimin’s hand underneath the table, kinda like a reassurance that it’s all part of a joke. He cares. He truly does.

99) During Jin’s birthday prank at MAMA, these two couldn’t keep their hands off each other. The moment they entered the bathroom, they almost shut everything out-talking to themselves, picking on the cake- until the members gave them the signal to stop w/e they’re doing. Months later Mama kindly revealed another footage, this time consisting of just them, in the bathroom, jungkook right in the middle of buttoning up his jacket, wearing nothing underneath. How was I supposed to sit still?

100) When Jungkook and Jimin take skinship to a whole new level, or simply put, the times Jikook makes us question the real intention behind their acts and excessive skinship.

101) Last but not least, Perhaps my all time favorite moment- When Jungkook was caught observing Jimin’s every move, literally had his eyes only on him.

(Mark 1:17 onward)

I super love this video bc the song chosen matched so well with the situation- like they wanted to reach out but couldn’t so they stayed put, could only observe the other from far…

and that’s it!
thank you, you made it to the bottom of this post! In short, everything about jikook makes me feel content. I had thought of doing more  but despite my brain literally screaming at me “Include this! You forgot this!”, I had to stick to 101. Anyway, I hope this mends your longing hearts. Have a lovely day! Thank you for reading!

Bonus because I have to:

when the members revealed on BTS KKul FM 2017 that Jungkook bought a birthday present only for Jimin. Am I your favorite hyung?

When Jungkook, the youngest in the group, called Jimin who is 2 years older than him a baby. 애기야가자 !

there’s not really a name for the kind of community i’ve found myself relating to the most, but somehow i’m surrounded by these people anyway: girls who struggle with sexuality labels. girls who like boys once in awhile, girls who have maybe even kissed boys or gone out with boys, but are generally kind of wary about boys and find their attraction to them weak and confusing and not really worth pursuing. girls who are overwhelmingly attracted to girls, other people, anyone but boys, sort of; girls who try out “bisexual” and feel just a little bit wrong–maybe wrong enough to discard it or maybe not; girls who would almost but not quite be telling the truth if they turned down boys by saying “sorry, i’m a lesbian.” (“i’m not into boys” is easier and more true but still itches, because what about that crush in seventh grade, what about that friend you’d kiss if he asked.) i don’t know where i’m going with this but i remember the incredible relief when i first saw someone else feeling this way and realized that it was an okay way to be.

Halfway (Lin-Manuel x Reader)

Summary: You and Lin are extremely domestic, but not dating. Lin asks you to move in with him anyways.
Low-key inspired by this quote:
“Date someone who meets you halfway. Date someone who brings you a glass a water when they get themselves one. Date someone who makes sure you don’t spend money on ridiculous things. Date someone your ex hates and your mom loves. Date someone who’d rather spend a Friday night watching movies, than out with 50 people they barely even talk to. Date someone who sleeps on your chest and leaves a little puddle of drool. Don’t date someone who makes you leave oceans of tears.”

Word Count: 1,203

Warnings: Cheesy ending? Mentions of jazz? I’m not sure. 

A/N: Hi! I’m back at it again. Never in a million years did I think I’d ever get a single note on any of my writing, so the fact that I did get notes just has me over the moon. I might have a few fics already planned out because I have a free weekend and zero chill?

Side note: If you don’t know who Miles Davis is and have the time you should watch the movie Miles Ahead. Guy was wack.
________________________________

“Cariña,” Lin softly called out to you, drawing your attention away from your notebook. You looked up to see him offering you a glass of water and you were suddenly aware of how dry your throat was. You had spent a considerable amount of time with your only form of communication being the words you were scrawling across the pages of your notebook. You dropped your pen into the pages and set it aside, flexing your hand before accepting the glass with a grateful smile.

“Thank you, love.” you cooed back, taking a large drink. You set it on the edge of his desk that was only a few feet away from the window seat you were currently sitting in. He sat at his desk, flipping open his laptop, the screen illuminating his face in a way that the diminishing sunlight had ceased to do hours ago. This was your usual spot, Lin working away at his desk while you sat in the window overlooking New York. Your eyes had been drawn back to the pages causing you to miss the way Lin looked up at you, admiring the curve of your lips and the glint of your eyes as your mind seemed to pick right back up where your pen had previously stopped. There was a time when you had used to move straight out of his line of vision the moment he sat down at his desk, much to his dismay. It took a couple of weeks until Lin finally got the nerve to tell you to stay where you were and it had been your designated space ever since.

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