One of the main rules in Anne Lamott’s book about writing, Bird by Bird, is that you have to produce a shitty first draft (her words, not mine). Ernest Hemingway said the same — the first draft of anything is shit. I have found this rule to be a great procrastination beater in my own writing. It frees you to get words down on the page and just keep going. I wrote the first draft of a novel last year and allowing it to be crap meant that I could keep writing until I had all 69,000 words of a finished manuscript. And as a bonus, when I finally read back over it, some of it was indeed crap but some of it wasn’t that bad and some of it was even quite good.
Some of their experiments worked out, others led them to a cul de sac. But whatever the outcome, these experiments allowed them to hone their voice and their style. The constant production and learning allowed them to eventually produce work that they liked, that matched the intention of what was in their minds, work that they are proud of.