2.3 - The Final Draft - Own Your Distortion

Art is never done, just abandoned.

One of two things will determine whether or not you’ve just completed your final draft:

  1. You are staring at your brilliance in its purest, most perfect form and it would be a crime to change anything else. If you keep your work from your audience any longer, the entire universe will crumble.
  2. You’ve reached the deadline. It is most definitely this.

Ideas are never finished. You can play with them until the end of time, but eventually, you will need to move on from them. 

I’ve had countless projects I’ve had to let go out the door, finished or not, solely because the deadline came knocking.

Most of us get it in our head that we’re only allowed to show the finished, polished, complete thing. We also think the only thing we’re ever shown or sold is also complete. Most of the art and books and shows you consume are done to the point of “good enough” at deadline. Nothing is ever perfect; every idea has room to evolve and grow. We only think they are perfect because we rarely see the first draft. 

When do you have a final draft? Whenever you think your work is 80% done.

Trust me; you’ll want to come back to it later and make it something else later. Your imperfections are someone else’s jumping-off point. 

You can tell something is “done” when you show it to someone, and they can tell you what they think. Can they have a thought or opinion on your work? Yes? Then you’re done enough. Then you build from there.

Sometimes the fifth draft is better than the ninth. Call the fifth your “final” and let the world have it. 

Sometimes you have a project that you can’t bear to look at or think about. I’ve written countless stories just to get them out of my mind and into the ether, so my mind is free enough to move on to something else.

The final draft gets the edit—the grammar and spelling check. The final draft gets a bit of rewriting to tighten sentences and make your idea ring clear as a bell. You will find plenty more about grammar in Module 4.