I have just read a Writers Digest article by Chuck Sambuchino where he makes the following two points:
1. Your first draft should be for yourself
2. Your second draft should be for your audience.
Writing any work is always a journey (one I believe never really comes to an end, even after publication). I often get asked how I write my poems and short stories by mostly women who would also like to take up writing. The first thing I always say and have always believed is that we write for ourselves. Often times an idea for a story or text will come about because of an interest, passion, hobby or experience we have. I am of the school of thought that believes the writer cannot be separated from the work (unless it is a ghost written piece but even then elements of the ghost writer are written in to the story). The first draft is the space to get out all the emotion and crazy ideas. This draft acts as a remedy almost or for a hobby or passion; it is that fix you needed to stop you obsessing over the idea or topic. By writing you bring the thoughts alive and then use the work as a platform to begin really telling the story in a way that is accessible for the reader.
When I begin to re – draft I always leave at least a week (probably more) before I return with fresh eyes and less emotion. Emotion clouds our judgment and makes us think things are good or necessary when more often than not, they are not. Telling the story in a way that best benefits the reader means that we need to start looking at the text objectively. We need to analyse the syntax, grammar and sectioning of the work; see if there is a way we can better present the work to get the message across better. Despite reading being a subjective act the big contradiction is that in order to get the best emotional response, you need to be as void of emotion as you can be when thinking about the best way to write.