My husband and son are in the living room playing Pokemon, and I’m in my office writing this before I get started on applying for a grant–I’m drafting answers to questions. After I work on that, I’m going to write a draft of a recommendation letter for a scholarship on behalf a kid I know who is–WHAT?!–applying to college this year.
I may have blogged about this before, but I had a professor in grad school who asked us all what our favorite part of the writing process was (it was a pedagogy class, and I’m not sure I remember the point of the lecture). His favorite part was revision, and I remember that because at the time I was like, “Seriously?” I liked creation, I think, at that point. Nowadays, though, I am all about revision, for the same reason he was: the hard part is over. Making something better is usually easier than writing it down the first time. Hell, half the reason I can get through that first draft is telling myself I’ll fix it later. Actually, now I think about it, my favorite thing when writing is when I realize during the first draft of, say, a scene what is is that scene needs to do, or what atmosphere or emotion I want to thread through it–it’s not there now, but I know how to get it there in the next iteration.
Anyway, for stuff like the writing I’m doing today–where I need to get over imposter syndrome or figure out the angle I want to take so the piece isn’t just one more generic essay/letter in the pile–drafting is even more of a lifesaver.