Recently, I told a friend--a great fellow writer, workshopping a new play--to "trust your first draft. It's the purest incarnation of the story your trying to tell."
What I meant: in your first draft, we generally write so freely, which such a sense of abandon, we don't like what we've made. For me, that usually causes second and third draft paralysis, as I stare at the mess and wonder what the hell to do with it. And yet: because we're generally smarter than we think we are, particularly when we're firing on all cylinders, we leave ourselves clues (breadcrumbs, I call them in my classes) that we can return to and find the path to where we want the play to go. And also, our characters are doing and saying things that may be structurally inelegant, but in their messiness is a kind of raw loveliness that's realer than anything that'll come in later drafts. In life, we don't have the benefit of a revision. In the times that mean the most, we are often our least witty, our most ineffective. And so are our characters in the first draft.
In Sarah Ruhl's great book, 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write, she says "don't send your characters to reform school." In a way, later drafts inevitably do force us to send our characters to reform school. But revising away all their awkwardness I think is a bad thing. Trust the pure and awkward way they engage their situations and the things they say wrong. Conflict and drama lie in what's gross, not what's clean.
I also meant not to let others re-write her play. Trusting that you wrote what you wrote for a reason, and being able to tell the difference between a good note and a note that may be good for the play the giver wants to write is a difficult thing.
Of course that's harder to do.