I found a post on Tumblr that changed the way I think about writing.
Here’s the link: Drafting: The Theory of Shitty First Drafts.
I had always thought that writing a shitty first draft still meant writing prose that could be shared with other people. I really enjoy this blog post because it made me realize that a shitty first draft is more like an outline on crack. All the planning that I try to keep separate because the first draft is “real” writing can be in that document. I love the idea that the shitty first draft is an expanded planning document. Got three ideas of where to start the story? Write them all, deal with it later. Ideas that don’t fit are okay. Side stories with minor characters are okay.
I always wondered how writers managed to cut so much between the first draft and publication (or even sharing with people), but it makes more sense if everyone else is writing first drafts like this. I’m used to the first draft being the one I turned in to the teacher in school, so a first draft that’s just barely controlled chaos and ideas sounds amazing and freeing.