Beyond the First Draft: From Hot Mess to Polished Prose

Common mistakes new writers make and how to avoid them

George J. Ziogas
3 min readMay 20


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Completing your first draft is a significant milestone in your writing process, and you should feel proud of yourself for making it this far. However, even experienced writers often make mistakes that can impact the quality of their work. That’s why it’s crucial to understand and avoid common mistakes that could compromise your writing. Following are steps to avoid three of these common mistakes, which will help you produce more effective and compelling pieces.

No Revisions

The first common mistake to avoid is neglecting to revise for clarity and coherence. It’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of finishing your first draft, but remember that this is only the beginning. After completing the first draft, it’s crucial to revise your work to ensure that your ideas flow logically, your sentences are clear and concise, and your message is easy to understand.

Revising your work also helps you identify areas where you may need to add more details or explanations to develop your ideas fully. Your goal as a writer is to communicate your message effectively to your readers, and revision is the key to achieving this.

No Editing

Another common mistake to avoid is overlooking the importance of editing for grammar and punctuation. Writing isn’t only about the content but also about the mechanics. Poor grammar and punctuation can overshadow even the most brilliant ideas. Therefore, after completing the first draft, take the time to carefully edit your work for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

While using tools such as grammar checkers and proofreading software can help you catch some mistakes, it’s important to remember that these tools aren’t infallible. You should still rely on your own judgment to catch errors that they may have missed.

Moreover, editing your work allows you to assess the effectiveness of your writing style and make necessary changes to improve it. In writing, it’s important always to put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Will this make sense to them?

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George J. Ziogas

Manners will take you where money won’t | HR Consultant | OHS Specialist | Personal Trainer |