turning bad drafts into successful ones

Embrace the Suck: Turning Bad Chapters into Success

This year, my goal is to put out three books. I've been definitely trying to increase the volume without decreasing the quality of the books that I put out. And I’m working on this new one. Typically, when I write, if I’m working on a chapter and think I get it to where I want it, I put it in the drawer for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes.

Well, the problem with that is sometimes you pull it back out and think, “What was I even writing?” It happened recently with a chapter I thought was game-changing. But when I re-read it, it was all over the place. The thoughts were sporadic, and it was just bad. Not negative self-talk, just reality.

We’re often so afraid to write a bad chapter of our lives, meaning we’re afraid to take a chance because we think it might not turn out how we want. If you’re in that situation, let me encourage you today: stick with it. Here’s how I turn sucky chapters into ones that don’t suck.

Give Yourself Permission to Suck

First and foremost, give yourself permission to suck. Yes, I said it. It’s okay if it’s not great right now because the world hasn’t seen it yet. For something to become great, it has to start from a place of suck. People often ask, “What if I suck at it?” Well, you don’t suck because you start something; you suck because you don’t.

The real issue isn’t making mistakes; it’s not trying at all. We need to change our mindset. Effort mistakes are okay. Make new mistakes because they mean you’re growing. If you don’t make the mistake, you won’t learn how to correct it. Stop living a theoretical life and get in the game.

Develop a Don't Suck Mindset

Reframe your situation. It’s not that you suck; maybe you didn’t have the right resources or knowledge at the time. Now you can seek out that information. When you identify the flaws, you know what to improve. If you can pinpoint the problem, you can find the solution. You can't get better if you don't know what needs to change.

Enjoy Not Being Great in the Moment

It’s okay to not be great right now. Enjoy it. As you get better, the stakes and pressure increase because there are more eyes on you. When you’re starting, there’s less pressure. Use this time to learn and grow without the high stakes.

Write a Zero Draft

Take the pressure off by writing a zero draft—a junk draft that no one will see. This draft is just for you to get in the habit of writing and creating. When you can say, “This is just for me,” you take the pressure off and allow yourself to grow. This approach creates momentum and helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel as you move towards a polished draft.

So, as you move towards your first drafts and eventually your final drafts in life, remember to embrace the process. Your final product, your bestseller, will come from the perseverance and growth you cultivate along the way. 

For more insights and resources on confidence building, consider booking a mindset speaker to inspire your team, exploring our free mindset resources, listening to the Shark Theory Podcast, or shopping our Mindset Books & Apparel to support your journey.

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