Writing a book is a long and demanding endeavor. It is best accomplished by breaking the process into doable steps. These include dreaming, brainstorming, researching, outlining, and drafting. I am always surprised when writers are surprised by the concept of drafts. I know many writers and not one of them has penned a novel or memoir in one sitting–or even in one draft. Most writers confess to a minimum of two, usually three, and sometimes many more drafts. I suggest you aim gently for three drafts: the first being the rough and wild draft, the second being the editorial revision, the third being the polish. 

  • while writing a first draft one of your jobs is to use daily exercises like the 10-minute-vent to keep your destructive internal critic off your back (and off the page).
  • remember that a second draft is a revision, which means a re-seeing; invite your constructive internal critic into the process and strive for excellence.
  • when you have completed your book, choose a few select readers who will give you honest professional feedback for the final polish.

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