Posted on February 10, 2019
I would consider my writing style to be very calculative; I tend to analyze which word would look best in which sentence and how I should word my next sentence to match with what I have written so far. With this method, I take forever to finish an essay and find it very tedious to even write. However, Donald Murray’s “The Maker’s Eye,” and Lamott’s “Shitty First Draft,” provides a plethora of new techniques and tips to help me overcome this bad writing habit of mine.
In “Shitty First Draft,” Lamott emphasizes the importance of just writing. She instructs her readers to sit down and write because the first draft isn’t meant to be good; it is never meant to be read by anyone but the writer so there’s no need to censor anything. She believes that in the terrible first draft, there will be a lot of self-discovery moments where certain sentences will be carried to the second draft while others will be tossed out. Taking her advice, I plan to type away and not worry about the technical aspects of my essay like grammar and sentence structure. With this carefree attitude toward writing my drafts, I hope to put more of my thoughts onto paper– something that wasn’t possible before with the constraints of my judgment.
In “The Maker’s Eye,” Murray conveys the importance of the different stages of the writing process. For example, he also believes that the first draft presents the opportunity for writers to discover what they want to say. Another tip he presents is to be open to criticism from others. They should also accept compliments but also be suspicious of it. With this advice, I hope to become more open-minded during peer review sessions and value the opinions of others. Additionally, Murray also says that writers should respect their own voice so I hope to gain some confidence in my writing as I write. Murray also points out his seven elements: subject, audience, form, structure, development, dimension and tone. Some of these elements sound familiar while others are a bit foreign, but I still intend to incorporate them into the literacy narrative. A sentence that really resonated with me in this article was, “The maker’s eye is never satisfied…” I think this is really important to note. Even if I submit a “final” essay, it could still be improved. It could still be worked on. And it’s just the existence of a deadline that forces me to submit what I have.