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In Defense of Non-Shitty First Drafts
Ever since Anne Lamott first suggested the idea of a shitty first draft in her now-famous Bird By Bird, the idea has become sacrosanct among writers: If you want to outwit your internal critic, write as fast as you can for the first draft, don’t worry about quality, and know you can fix everything later. There is undeniable benefit to this approach, namely in putting words down on a blank page. However, what if the shitty first draft is not the only approach? What if blind speed is not always the best way to make it through your story for the first time? In this interactive workshop, intermediate and advanced writers will figure out nuanced approaches to interacting with their internal critic, learning when to ignore it and when to listen, when to slow down and when to even backtrack in service to the story, even in the earliest stages.
Miriam Gershow is the author of The Local News: A Novel. Her short stories appear in The Georgia Review, Gulf Coast and Black Warrior Review, among others. She is a writer, mother, teacher, reader and proud cat lady.