Bad first draft

One of the best ideas I have gotten in recent years is that of the "bad first draft" (Why can I not find a good link for this?) I was a straight-A student. "Failure" was a foreign concept to me. Well, a B was a failure. Even then, that was "not allowed" by my standards. I always thought this was a good thing until I realized that it eventually led to me not trying things unless I "knew" that I could "succeed". Writing, programming, translating. Even sometimes playing games in Japanese. I was terrified of failure.

I still am.

The bad first draft is one of the most difficult things I try to incorporate into my life. I just try to get something done. As I write this, my monitor is completely black. I cannot see the words coming out as I type them. I tend to limit the monitor-blacking technique for blog posts instead of translation work, obviously. It is still hard either way. When I am working on something that will just go on the Internet or when I am working on something that will get me paid cash money, the urge to do other things that are sure-fire "successes", even silly things like writing on Twitter, flow to the top of my head.

I actually have that little smiling mountain and the "Bad First Draft!" index-card right in front of me now as I work. I need that constant reminder. Just getting out something, getting that first translation, that first sentence, anything makes it so much easier. Yes, I edit. Of douse I do. It is such a necessary first step, though. I am writing more frequently, I am translating more, I am making more code. I am still as scared as I used to be but I am doing more. That is really the point, I do suppose.