Skip to toolbar

First Draft Blues

Posted on February 11, 2019

Lamott and Murray both spoke of breaking down the drafting process in writing. They each had their own personal ways of breaking down drafts, all beginning with the first draft. They both expressed the first draft as one that should have no structure, rhyme, or reason. It was refreshing to hear this because as a student writer we are always told that first drafts are going to be the main structure of our writing that will be slightly edited into a final essay. Which however, should not be the case at all.

Lamott brought a humor filled aspect of his/her ventures into trying to create final drafts. They explained that the first draft should feel like the writing of a child’s. I love that they said this because I feel as college students we overthink and complicate the simplest of tasks in order to feel intelligent or successful. When in reality, we need to connect with the basis of our knowledge and build from there in order to create an open atmosphere for ideas and creativity. I also loved the visual exercise of controlling the voices in your head. Often our minds are in a million different places at once, to be dramatic. This is a wonderful way to reasonably listen to each idea or argument we have. I will be using this myself in future writings.

Murray had a very sensible way of going back and working with a first draft. I feel that when student writers go back to fix first drafts they try to look at every aspect of editing all at once. Murray listed out how they look at one individual editing piece at a time in order to accomplish reworking their first draft. I believe this is a process many students should adapt.

Some major takeaways from these two pieces:

– Don’t be afraid to let loose and jumble words into a first draft.

– The voices in your head each have a turn in which it is the right time for them to be heard and we have the ability to control them.

– Look at your first draft one stage at a time and edit from there.




  1. amikhaylova

    I also relate to feeling like the first draft has to closely resemble our final piece, and was always looked at by teachers in the past to help edit and change around a bit. That’s why I loved Lamott’s take on it, explaining how no one will see it and its just for yourself to get your thoughts out to later organize into a more thoughtful piece. I will definitely be using that strategy as well as the exercise to help prevent overthinking and write better drafts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Profile picture of sdenman


active 1 week, 3 days ago