“I always do first drafts of my poems on yellow paper. Because yellow paper means it is just a draft, I am much braver and more wild than I would be on white paper. Those yellow-paper scribbles make me more free than I would be on the computer where everything looks like a final copy.” – Penelope Scambly Schott

Sage Cohen shares the above quote in her book The Productive Writer, in addition to these timely tips for creating first drafts:

Use a special font for first drafts that feels friendly and fun.
Choose a color paper that makes you feel courageous, whether you’re writing by hand or printing them from your computer.
Experiment with inputs and context such as location, music, lighting, time of day, writing medium (such as pen and paper vs. computer) to get yourself in the mood. (Sage shares that she often starts something in a cafe or in bed, two low-pressure environments where she feels relaxed and comfortable. Her serious work can be found at her desk.)

Simple yet effective tips—especially for those of us with an unrelenting and may I add—very annoying “inner editor”.

Thanks (again) Sage!

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