I’m a writer, yes, but I’m also an editor. I may not have the absolute final say in what gets published or created or recorded, but I’m certainly a gatekeeper to those who do. I get messages and emails all the time from people pitching articles, videos, podcasts, and so on. Many of those ideas I’m sent are even good ones.
But you want to know what impresses me more than a good idea? A draft. Any draft, even a bad one, says more to me than a well-crafted pitch.
Sending a draft demonstrates courage. Not every submission can be published, and I’ve sent far more rejections than I have acceptance notes. Rejection stings, no matter how often it happens or how gently it’s done. But a draft shows you’re willing to face that, and I respect it.
Sending a draft shows consideration. If you just send me a pitch, even if I find it interesting and worthwhile, I still have to take the time to write you back and ask for the draft. Then I have to wait for your response. Then I have to read it. Only then can I make a decision to move it further down the line or not. We’re all busy people, so when you send me a draft and save me (and yourself) a few steps, I appreciate it.
Sending a draft is evidence that you’re willing to improve. Your story or article is going to be edited anyway. I’ve never met a writer so good that they didn’t need editing (and I’ve met some really good ones). But moreover, as we’ve established previously, the way to get better at writing is to write. If you’re writing a draft, you’re improving, and I admire it.
A draft tells me that you’re willing to do the work. A draft tells me you’re serious. A draft tells me you can follow through. A draft tells me you’re willing to face the discomfort and even fear that comes from revealing a piece of yourself to a stranger.
Anyone can have an idea. Few people ever act on those ideas. Fewer still present evidence that they’re willing to see those ideas through. A draft, however weak you may think it is, is always stronger evidence than vague promises.
Even if your draft is ultimately rejected, it still tells me far more about you than you might think. And the next draft you send tells me all that and more.
So send the draft.
It’s Time to Wake Up
If you genuinely want your dreams to come true, you have to act on them. You have to get out of bed and do something. You have to wake up.