I can’t remember where I first heard the phrase, but it’s important to give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. Shawn Blanc’s recent exploration of his writing habits reminded me (and Randy) that your first draft of a piece will be terrible. That’s fine. Record your main idea or point thoroughly on that first pass. Make it pretty later.
The same can be said for your writing in general. I’m still very much a student, but I’m worlds better than I was a few years ago. Just keep at it.
Update: Several of you have written to point out that the concept of the shitty first draft comes from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Thanks.