Writing your shitty first draft

You have your familiarisation done, you have thought through what to write about and now you have to actually sit down and write up that application.

It is totally understandable that you may be beginning with a blank page and might be wondering how to write all that’s in your head. If you do feel so, relax. It is completely normal and almost all applicants go through this every single time they fill in an application.

There is one way to get over this obstacle and get moving and that is by Writing your Shitty First Draft. What does this mean?

You begin writing by picking a question, reading it through and then writing all that comes to your mind, without any filtering. You don’t think about the word limit or the quality of your answers You just write. This version of your application is meant to be shitty and incomplete, which is why it is called the Shitty First Draft (SFD).

What this exercise does is bring out all the content in your head onto paper. Now all you’d need to do is go over the questions, decide which aspects of your SFD to include and then start cleaning it up. As you complete your review process, you’ll again get new pointers based on which you can refine your application.

But for starters, quickly iterating to your shitty first draft is important so that you begin making progress on your answers. When you write it all out, you would definitely feel relieved that some progress happened. Just be sure not to bother about the content/word limit/grammar or any filtering of the data as you write. Give yourself permission to create a first draft that may be shitty.

If you do commit to this process, you’d most probably get to your SFD in just about an hour or two. From there, it is only a matter of reviewing and refining it.

And truth is that you needn’t show this to anyone. This is for your eyes only. So there’s no need to feel embarrassed or awkward. Give yourself the permission to let it flow and do not judge your work. Every beautiful sculpture was once just a stone.

Few resources on SFD for you to understand more:

1. The art of Shitty First Draft

2. Give yourself permission to start shitty