The First Draft

The best piece of writing advice

Megan Eisentraut

4/1/20241 min read

My favorite writing quote comes from Jodi Picoult.

"You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page."

I read this quote when I was in high school and fell so deeply in love with it that I printed it out and plastered in on my wall. It is a piece of advice that I remind my writing group of rather frequently. We all suffer from imposter syndrome, and it is easy to choose not to write instead of tackling the fears of being a failure.

But, can you imagine of JK Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Stephen King, or your favorite author had chosen to give up the opportunity to write because of fear? Think of the person that inspired you to become an author. Think of all the people you'll be able to inspire through your words. Imagine being able to tell them that there were moments you wanted to give up, but didn't.

"You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page."

So write. Write that first draft, and then the second. Write until your hand is cramping up and you have a splitting headache. Then, drink some water and go to bed. And do it again. Write until you laugh in the face of fear. Write until the thought of looking at your computer screen makes you sick. Write until all you want to do is chuck your computer across the room.

When you reach that point, you can pat yourself on the back because you'll be an author. You'll be part of a community of people who pushed past the fears and the insecurities and wrote their book. And one day, there will be someone out there who tells his or her best friend what the world would have been like if you stopped writing.