Written by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

Anne Lamott wasn't so subtle about what she thought of first drafts in her book, Bird by Bird. In fact, she started off by writing, "Now, practically even better news than that of short assignments isrepparttar idea of shitty first drafts. All good writers write them. This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts."

I agree with her. First drafts arerepparttar 129772 roughest, and well, ugliest drafts. It's a common mistake of beginning writers, as well as seasoned ones, to expect themselves to produce shiny, perfect very polished and publishable first drafts. What these writers don't know is that these ugly and every-editor's-nightmare first drafts can provide them withrepparttar 129773 opportunity to explore every angle, every slant, and every idea for an article or a work.

WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING! Well, at least try to write all of them down. This isrepparttar 129774 stage where you don't letrepparttar 129775 memories of your English professors get inrepparttar 129776 way of writing. When you start with your first (or rough) draft, you haverepparttar 129777 prerogative to hurl those boring English and grammar rules outrepparttar 129778 window. Don't worry, you'll pick them up later.

STEW FOR A WHILE! After you get all your ideas down on paper, leave them. And I mean it! Don't even try touching them until a sufficient amount of time has lapsed. Give it a day or two. Let it stew on your desk. Go to your dentist, get a manicure, or write other stuff, but don't, for your muse's sake, get your hands on your first draft just yet!

GET LETHAL WITH THAT RED MARKER! The next day isrepparttar 129779 time you can brandish your most lethal weapon - your red (or any color you prefer) marker. Take out your terrible (and you will realize that it is terrible!) first draft and start crossing out ideas and sentences you don't need.


Written by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

Writers write. You shouldn't wait around for inspiration to come. But sometimes, there are days you can't get anything written down. Or you're at a loss for words. You can't think of anything to write. You don't have any idea what to write about.

And then you end up believing you're having writer's block.

You end up believing it too much that you stop writing altogether. You might even think of yourself as not a real writer.

And all because of what? You think your muse deserted you? You think you have a 7-year writer's block plague?

Think again!

There's no such thing as writer's block. And you sure as heck don't need inspiration to write!

What you do need are prompts to help get your writer's mind working and your hands writing or typing.

I call these prompts SEEDS. They are your beginnings;repparttar glimmer;repparttar 129771 little sparks that you can shape and fashion into stories, articles, essays and features.

You don't need inspiration. All you need is an idea. A SEED.

And here are a dozen seeds you can try out for yourself --

1. The first typewriter was patented on July 23, 1829. Interview some ofrepparttar 129772 writers in your group and find out how they write. You can develop this into a light- hearted articles about writers.

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