Your first draft is for getting down the words as fast as they flow in that initial burst of creativity. You don’t want to stop the flow. No time to look up spelling, grammar and punctuation. Gonzo spelling, grammar and punctuation is good enough. If it’s not, just cross out the offending article but for heaven’s sake keep going until that first draft is done.
Then sit back and read your creation. Now the real work begins.
If the idea is still a good one, you’re happy. You know you have a diamond in the rough. Now all you have to do is polish the hell out of it.
If the idea sucks…Well, just toss that first draft and rummage around for a new idea. But don’t you worry, another first draft is just around the corner.
Hello hello hello, my brother and sister writers of flash fiction from all over the world! It’s a gorgeous afternoon in Pittsburgh. The sun is shinning and the high will be around 47 degrees. The Old Soldier just came back from a lovely walk to the Veterans Hospital up the hill. The walk was great exercise (karaoke at Nico’s in Little Italy the first Saturday in January) and I picked up a hand book explaining all the benefits I may be eligible for as a Vietnam War veteran. It’s all part of looking after my finances. A writer must make his or her finances a priority so that he or she can keep writing. This is a lesson I wish I had taken to heart when I was a young man. I was so much into the romance of being a starving writer that I ended up often hungry and temporarily homeless.
(Of course, there was Vietnam. Whatever tendencies I had for being a social misfit before the war, I’m sure the war did not help. I tended to drift through life from one job to another and from one woman to another. I just wanted to write. But I digress.)
Well, the Old Soldier survived, got an MFA in the process and some interesting material for my fiction. The moral of this story is: money is very important. (I know I know I know. Like someone has to tell you that.) The lack of money can destroy your career as a writer. If I may paraphrase one of my heroes:
“A writer must survive in order to get his work done.” –Ernest Hemingway
This is the Old Soldier reporting from near the University of Pittsburgh.