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Tips from the Pros (and me)

Posted on February 12, 2019

I am going to start off by saying Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts” is one of the most hilarious pieces i have read. At first glance i thought this article was going to one of those pieces that tries too hard at being funny and their point ends up not being clear or sometimes their point doesn’t even come across. However i was happily mistaken with this article, his use of whimsical commentary pairs perfectly with his persona. They combine to make this style of writing something to crave, i found myself thirsting to read more. Now onto his point, Lammott wrote this piece to show you that writers are never perfect on their first run and they know that. They build onto what they wrote time after time until they are happy with the outcome. One quote that resonated with me was “Just get it all down on paper, because there may be something great in those six crazy pages that you would never have gotten to by more rational, grown-up means.” He’s telling us that we just have to write every thought down no matter how far fetched you think it is, just get it down. When you brainstorm like that you are more creative than you are if you confine yourself to strict guidelines.

Next comes the piece “The Maker’s Eye” by Donald Murray. This is a more serious piece as compared to Lammotts but it is still just as effectective for getting the point across. Although the jist of what Murray is trying to say is similar to Lammott’s, it does vary. He talks about the main difference between a novice writer and an adept one is attitude. He says that a beginner adds to and corrects their rough draft and then they are finished writing, but a more experienced writer only starts writing after they finish their first draft. Continuing with the idea of attitude, and experienced writer “must be their own best enemy”. In order to a be a great writer and in order to improve you must always criticize yourself and always look for mistakes. You got to scour through your piece as if it is someones who you’re trying to make look bad and hurt because only then can you improve on your writing.

Tip Numero Uno: Don’t use your rough draft as your final copy. All throughout High School i would just correct errors on my first draft and hand that in.

Tip Numero Dos: Don’t settle for the minimum. I would always dread writing long papers and often found myself writing the bear minimum on papers i didn’t want to write.

Tip Numero Tres: Have more fun when writing. I need to try and enjoy what i am writing about more even if i don’t like the topic. I need to be more passionate about things i put my name on.


  1. hbarden

    I like what you are saying. I agree that Shitty First Drafts was very comical but at the same time very beneficial. I thought the use of tips at the end very were a good use of telling us what you learned while reading. It helps your audience know what you think are the main points when it comes to writing. My favorite point is your last one because you are totally right! If you are not enjoying it, then your paper probably will not be as good as if you are.

  2. sumislam

    I really liked your perspective on these articles. I especially related to what you said about Lamott’s piece. Humor is a really important aspect to writing not enough people stress the importance of. I try to include as much as I can in my own writings where appropriate. I also agree with your statement about having fun while your writing. Going off of that, the paper should be fun for the audience to read too!

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