The Number 1 rule of Write Club: is give yourself permission to write rubbish.
Rule number 2 is also give yourself permission to write rubbish.
Writing and editing are two different things. Two separate skills from two different places. We can think of creativity as coming from the righthand side of the brain and logical thinking from the left. This isn’t strictly true but is a useful model.
The right side of our brains deal with intuition, daydreaming and the free-forming and association of disparate ideas. It’s therefore an ideal state for writing. The left side of our brains deals with logic, critical thinking and order. It’s therefore an ideal state for editing.
When you begin writing, though you may have an idea about what you want to write, you need to let the ideas in your head flow freely onto the page. This is no time for your inner critic to worry about sentence structure or whether what’s going down is good or not. Early drafts are concerned with the writer telling themselves the story. You need to give yourself permission to write rubbish.
Think of it this way
A sculptor doesn’t create an elegant piece at the first attempt. First, they need a misshapen lump of clay. The basic material with which to work. Early work will be honing that lumpen mass into a basic form. Once the basis is established, the refinement can begin. Multiple reworkings over time produce the final piece at which to marvel.
Writers need to mine the mud first. Our tools are our words. Trying to extract what’s in our heads onto the page is hard enough without any barriers or filters causing obstacles to the extraction of the misshapen lump of words we need to begin. Writing without too much conscious thought, letting the free-forming ideas flow out, is the first stage. Then we can hone that lumpen mass into a basic form, finding rough gems along the way which can be polished later. Multiple reworkings, because writing is rewriting, produce the final piece at which to marvel.
You need to give yourself permission to write rubbish. Early drafts are just you telling yourself the story.
Mine the words first. Reshape later.
Tell yourself the story first. Just get it down. Writing is rewriting
As Stephen King once said: ‘Just write the damn thing.’
I see so many early writers lose belief in their abilities because of early drafts, but all first drafts are bad no matter who you are. Don’t let this discourage you. Give yourself permission.