On Learning to Be Happy with Your Imperfect Draft

A Writer's Path

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by Meg Dowell

What is your reaction – or what do you perceive your reaction will be like – when you finally finish writing that first draft? Relieved? Sad? Ecstatic? Numb? All of the above?

Finishing a first draft of any major piece of writing is an emotional roller coaster. You probably expect to feel at least a little joyful. But what if you don’t? What if you finish writing, and you feel empty? Or scared? Or just generally dissatisfied with the work you’ve done? What does that mean? Why aren’t you happy?

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