Updated: Jul 11
As a former high school teacher, I always encouraged my students to get their thoughts down on paper. It did not matter if it was a mess. I did not care if there were misspelled words, incorrect punctuation, disorganized thoughts. That is the beauty of the first draft in writing - it is supposed to be imperfect. The finesse and the beauty of a piece comes after the errors are fixed and the haphazard, exploding thoughts are organized. The icing is on the cake when the thoughts
paint a picture in a cohesive way!
Having just finished the book, Dare To Lead, I have come across my most recent "ah ha" moment. And that lightbulb moment connects to my shitty first draft, but felt more like a lightning bolt. A zap of energy that I needed for renewal. The shitty first draft, however, is not an essay I wrote or a blog post. It is not a published research paper. It is not a legal briefing. It is a very inaccurate draft that I have used to message flawed thinking to myself.
But, what has that flawed message been?
I should be embarrassed about the health of my hips. I have done this to myself. It is all in my head. I'm not strong enough to grin and bear it. I am a burden. I have the potential to be burdensome. I am defective. I am broken. I am weak.
Damn, that is a pretty shitty first draft. Total crap.
With tears, frustration and the help of many, that ink has blurred and in its place has come a revision. A final draft. With clear print and clear thoughts. A cohesive message that conveys the opposite of my first draft and its incredibly subpar, negative thinking.
What is the message though in my final draft?
It is okay to have flaws. It is okay to be vulnerable. My body is an amazing, imperfect mess that somehow continues to keep being mobile. I will heal. I will regain my strength. I will continue to be resilient. I will be grateful. I am amazing.
So what is my message to you? Get your writing paper out, jot down your first draft and then revise it to allow for a mantra of hope and healing.