Never Judge Your Book By Your Fourth Draft!

I believe that it was Brandon Mull, the author of the ‘Fablehaven’ series, who said, “Don’t judge your book by your first draft.” Well, that ‘before’ there, is my FOURTH draft!

I swear, the biggest killer of writer-dreams is believing your book has to be perfect right out of your head. I know I really struggled to get past this idea. Words were supposed to spill forth from my brain like tiles made of diamonds and form a beautiful mosaic masterpiece the second my fingertips touched the keyboard.

But… it doesn’t really work that way. That’s what multiple drafts are for!

When we read books by our favorite authors, remember: we’re reading their final draft. We’re reading the finished result of hours upon hours (and sometimes even YEARS) of effort, brainstorming, staring blankly at a page, multiple drafts, editing, and possibly even some crying.

It took thirteen drafts to finish my first novel… aaaand my second novel. And as I embraced the process and the mess and mystery-solving of it all, fitting the pieces of those stories together became an absolute blast!

Your book doesn’t need to be perfect right away. It’s okay if your early drafts are a mess. It’s a wonderful puzzle that you get to fit together. Your puzzle, your story. Let it be fun. Let discovering the pieces and putting the story together be a marvelous adventure that you get to experience before anybody else. Let it surprise you.

And don’t worry, it’s going to be so awesome when you’re done. If I can do it, so can you. You’ve got this!