DRAFT: to make a version of something that will need more work in order to be finished
I came home today to the jarring reality that always follows a relaxing vacation. There was laundry to wash, groceries to purchase, emails to scan, mail to sort, and homework to complete.
I was especially dreading the homework because…well, because it’s called homework and old habits die hard. Pavlov’s dogs salivated when the bell rang; I resist when something is mandatory. It’s science. In this case, the homework involved reviewing five essays from five writers in my memoir class.
Once I got started, I was reminded how much I love reading. I love the power of the written word in all forms. I love books, magazines, and blogs. Heck, I’m a sucker for a text-filled napkin. But there is something extra special about being trusted with early drafts from other writers.
Drafts are where hesitant voices clear their throats. Drafts are where words like perhaps and maybe get crossed out to make room for boldness.
Drafts are where risks are taken. Drafts are where writers dare to say something imperfectly rather than remaining silent. Drafts are where writers find the right term and the courage to use it. Rape. Doubt. Shame. Ambivalence.
Drafts are where writers try to make readers understand and sometimes help themselves do the same.
Drafts are where gems are unearthed so that they can be polished. Drafts are where side notes become the story.
Drafts are where an imperfect word is a placeholder for the perfect one that will come but hasn’t yet.
Drafts are where we let things go not because they don’t matter but because they don’t matter to this story.
Drafts are where the work of writing gets done.