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First Drafts

Posted on February 12, 2019

Both Lamott “Shitty First Draft,” and Murray “The Maker’s Eye.” talk about how first drafts are almost meant to be bad. The first draft is supposed to be how a writer gets their idea on paper on not meant to be seen by anyone else. Lamott talks about how she would just write to keep things flowing and not worry about how things sound or fit. This is something that I find very useful because it is hard for me to get things to fit together at first. She also talks about how she has different voices for her that criticizes her work. She first finishes he first draft before getting to critical. Then latter would go over it fixing and improving her writing. Murray talks about how drafting can be a way of discovery to find the subject of his writing. He breaks up writing into seven import parts. He analyzes his draft carefully to make sure he does a good job on all those parts. Both article talk about how it is normal for even experienced writers to have bad first drafts.


Some tips I got from the readings are that I should just write and focus on form and how it sounds latter. This has been helpful to me in past since I need to get the idea on paper. Anther tip is to use a draft as a discovery draft to find out what exactly I want to talk about. I also think it will be useful to go over the draft once I am done and identify the seven parts of my draft.



  1. pmassa

    Dear TJARRETT,

    I wouldn’t say the first draft of a paper should be “bad”. I would say it’s more of a way to get your ideas on paper, like you said, but it should still be coherent and on topic, in my opinion. You have to remember that you’re writing to achieve a specific goal most of the time, such as “I want to write a formative article about X” or “I want to write a short fictional story pertaining to Y”. You shouldn’t just go into your first draft with no ideas in mind and no BASIC footprint in my opinion. Because if you do, you’re going to have a tough time staying on task and being focused on what you need to do, like in a research paper which you are definitely going to have to do in WRT 102. Just my advice!

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