“The first draft of anything is shit.” —Ernest Hemingway
At Writing, Clear and Simple, Roy Jacobsen reminds us that the first draft is, well, just a first draft. Roy’s point is to do something Bryan Garner advocates: When writing the first draft, put your judge (your editor or critic) in the closet; just get the damned thing down on paper. That’s good advice. For legal writers, I would add this: Remember that, according to Papa Hemingway, your first draft is probably shit. So don’t get too defensive when it comes to editing. Nobody—not even a Hemingway—usually gets it right on the first draft. And chances are you’re no Hemingway.