January 8, 2023

You Can't Edit a Blank Page

Just before I started writing this piece, I came across a Facebook post—randomly popped up on my feed, I wasn't even following the page.

I usually scroll past those posts, but one line caught my attention:

You can edit a bad book, but not a blank page.

It's the kind of thing I'd print out and put on display in my workstation. A reminder I can look at when I get stuck. When I hit a creative block.

Write something. Create something. The Ugly First Draft, as Ann Handley puts it. Edit it later. Add more info later. Rearrange, smoothen transitions, think of more appropriate words, polish... later.

Your first draft is simply that. A draft. It's meant to be ugly. Raw. Confusing even. And it's not meant to be read by anyone except you. It's simply a collection of all your thoughts and all the research you've done on a subject. The fixing up comes later, and only then will it ready for other eyes.

Just get started now.

Ideas won't get you anywhere. A plan might give you the path, but action, execution—that's what gets you to your destination.