Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. (Proverbs 29:25, NLT)
The first draft process goes a bit like this: you’ve got a white-hot idea. You’ve accumulated awesome content to support it. You’re excited about the project!
But you can’t seem to get your idea onto paper.
Your struggle – trust me – has nothing to do with your writing ability. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner are among the many writers who have battled writers block.
Instead, your battle is grounded in fear.
You’re afraid others will think you’re not a good writer. Or that your idea is silly, irrelevant, arrogant, or too complex for others. Why hasn’t anyone else developed it? Or, you’re afraid that as you begin to write, your idea won’t match up to your own expectations and you’ll be flooded with disappointment. Or you’re afraid that you’ll get your idea down on paper and show it to others for their approval, only to be judged and rejected.
You’re afraid of people (readers, editors, and yourself) … not your idea.
“Your first draft is for your eyes only,” says writing coach Daphne Gray-Grant. “Do not show it to anyone else. Not your boss. Not your client. Not your friends.”
The purpose of your first draft is simply to move your idea from one location to another: from your head onto paper. The process is not about others’ approval or disapproval. It is not about rough writing or editing. It’s a simple transfer.
King Solomon explained how fear – especially fearing people and what they think – is a trap.
Don’t allow your idea to get trapped. Move it. Transfer your idea from one location to another. Your idea will be safe. Your first draft, remember, is for your eyes only.
The purpose of a first draft is to move your idea from your mind to paper.
Forgive me for my fears. You have entrusted me with ideas that you want me to get out of my mind and onto paper. Help me to take that step and complete the transfer.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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