The other day on Twitter, a writer tweeted a snippet of awesome advice: the first draft is for your (the writer’s) eyes only. The writer, whose name escapes me thanks to mom brain, repeated it several times, too.

I certainly wasn’t planning on having any of my writer friends or anyone else read my first draft I’m plugging away on right now. But it was still a nice, gentle reminder that your first draft is just for you. And also a more subtle read-between-the-lines reminder that that first draft you have there — no matter how much you love your idea, no matter how much potential you think it has — is a big ol’ pile of poop.

I don’t mean anything by that — just stating the facts. Real, not alternative, if anyone was wondering. Your first draft is just the beginning — it’s the time to bang those computer keys and get your idea out of your brain and on to your Word document. Pour it all out. Then, when it’s done? Get ready to take a jackhammer to it and edit the crap out of it — pun intended.

But even though your first draft will suck (I promise, it will), there is something beautiful about this messy time in your WIP’s young life. It’s the exciting phase of just writing. Not editing, not revising, not taking notes on what you need to add, delete, or change. It’s the only time that you really are Just Writing.

So, if you’re like me and in the midst of finishing up your first draft, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself. Enjoy this time.

Just.

Write.