A finished draft beats a perfect draft

Beginning writers often start but never finish their writing. They may decide the direction the piece is heading is not the way they want to go. Or they may come up with a story idea that they deem better. Or they may be uncertain where to next take the piece.

To a certain extent, not finishing a writing is all right. Writing in part involves experimenting with different ideas and approaches, sort of like trying on clothes in a fitting room at store. Just as you don’t have to purchase every item you try on, so you don’t have to complete a short story or a novel for every paragraph you pen.

Still, if you always try on clothes but never purchase any, eventually you won’t have anything to wear. Likewise, if you never finish any of your writings, you’ll have nothing to publish.

Rather than worry about getting the next paragraph perfect, just write through it. Don’t worry if it’s flawed. To complete you story, you’ll simply need to “fail” as quick as you can.

You’re not really failing, after all. You’re drafting. When you complete the first, imperfect draft of a story, you will revise it. If that new version is imperfect, you can revise it as well. But you can’t edit until you have something to edit!


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.