Sounds like an obvious one right? Well unfortunately it’s not. When I started writing again in 2010 after my son was born I started each morning the same way.
Between 5 and 6am Logan would wake up. I would feed him a bottle, put him back to bed, fumble my way back into the kitchen and make a coffee. Then I would sit down at my desk to write. Before I would start actually writing I would read. If I was working on a chapter I would start with the beginning of that chapter. While I was reading I would make grammatical corrections as well as put in words I seem to have missed during the initial typing. Little things. What I did not realize though, was that this helped to not only keep me on track but helped keep my facts straight. I have changed things so often in this story that sometimes I forget what I ended up keeping and what got dumped in the trash.
I mention this because as my critique people read my chapters they keep finding the same problems. I, unfortunately, do not always have time to read a whole chapter before diving in anymore since I never know how much time I’m going to have. Instead I just need to make time to read it through before sending it.
Another reason this is so important is because when you aren’t desperately trying to get your ideas on the page you have the time to really make sure everything is amazing. I’ve said it once and I will say it again. First draft is not the amazing piece you dreamt of creating. It is simply the first stepping stone on the path that will eventually get you there.