If you’ve ever been to my Twitch Stream then you’ve heard me mention once, twice, a dozen times, about whatever vomit draft I’m currently working on. I’d love to say this is a phrase I came up with myself, but it is not. In fact, the term “vomit draft” comes from the screenwriting-world.
I have many screenwriting friends, and my wife happens to be a screenwriter, and I’ve heard her use the term more times than I do. When she explained to me what it meant I was drawn to the definition right away.
Vomit Draft – A vomit draft is a first draft of a script that the writer pushes through in as little time as possible, caring not about quality or polish in the process.
How exactly does this relate to me and my writing and why am I even telling you this? Well, allow me to tackle those each point one-by-one.
This phrase relates to me because like many of you, I’m sure, I stress constantly about making my first draft be the best draft ever! I was like this for a LONG time. If what I put down on paper wasn’t perfect and ready for publication, then I considered myself to be a total and complete failure. There was no convincing me otherwise. I soon gave myself a reality check. I know realize that anyone’s first draft, from mine to the famous bestseller, has a crappy first draft. That’s the nature of writing. And this is why I am telling you, in case you are still where I was in my early stages of writing.
It helps if you think of your writing as literal vomit. You are literally vomiting words onto the page. If you’ve ever looked at vomit, it’s not a pretty sight. I think we can all agree on that. We can even go so far as to say it’s freaking GROSS! Well, vomit is not meant to be pretty daffodils on a Spring morning! It’s up to us (and experienced Editors) to take that vomit we’ve spewed onto the page and pick out the truly nasty bits, till it’s mildly tolerable. After enough passes through the hands of skilled professionals you’ll find that vomit draft will eventually become a final draft. At the very least, it’ll come out smelling less puke-ish!
I suggest trying it out for yourself. Whatever you’re writing right now, start calling it your “vomit draft” whenever someone asks you what you’re working on right now. And if you’re like me, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders. Your writing something that you already know isn’t going to be perfect and that’s OKAY.
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