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Blog 3 : Trust the Process

Posted on February 12, 2019

In “Shitty First Drafts” by Lamott and “The Maker’s Eye” by Murray,  both writers present different focuses in writing. While Lamott repeatedly and mainly discusses the importance of composition of the first draft, Murray discusses the process of dealing with the completed first draft and techniques and checkpoints that are used throughout in his work. Murray breaks down the process of writing into three parts: draft, scanning of seven elements(editing I) and in-depth editing(editing II). As the writing reaches closer requires subtle scanning and meticulous attention to details. Lamott, on the other hand, places emphasis on the idea of first draft. She draws comparison of first draft to child’s draft, which serves to highlight the creativity and curiosity of kids not limited or bounded by worries or precision. Such childlike approach allows writing to contain interesting persona and unanticipated storylines. The idea is to write as much as you want, however you want under no rules nor guidelines. Then comes the editing, as Lamott describes the approach controlling the noises/voices in a jar. What both of these writers do similarly mention in their work is that first draft allows the discovery, the “let-it-all-out” part of the writing.

Some tips that will help me in the upcoming Literacy Narrative and Research Essays include the childlike perspective writing of first draft. This method allows me to continuously write so that later on when it comes to editing, I can sort out what I do/don’t need and I can also encounter unanticipated writing that can do good later down the process. Other strategies I found helpful were the idea of checkpoints of seven elements in Murray’s work. Though this method may be time-consuming, I would only be able to move to the next checkpoint if the specific element is satisfied.  Listening for tone as well as reinforce the structure followed by different arguments and details are the two areas I certainly must achieve.


  1. Kelvin Chen

    I like how you mention the childlike perspective writing of the first draft. I feel it is great to have the ideas come to life on paper. Just write what you think and don’t worry about tidying it up till later. Also I agree with you when you said the seven element method seemed very time-consuming but worth it. Good writing really just boils down to these seven elements. I like how you mention that you will not be able to move to the next element if the previous one is not satisfied. Good catch!


    I like your comment about how a childlike approach is supposed to reflect curiosity and creativity. To me, Lamott’s comment about how people who think their first draft is perfect is important because the badness of the first draft highlights the authenticity of the writer. Additionally, it shows how much they care for their writing just like a child cares about understanding the world around them.

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