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Anne Lamott asserts that most writers that she knows do not do it rapturously but instead they have to write whatever comes to their minds- this is what she calls the shitty first drafts. They later edit those drafts to come up with perfect pieces. She says that it’s possible…
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FREE WRITING AND SHITTY FIRST DRAFTS SUMMARIES Anne Lamott asserts that most that she knows do not do it rapturously but instead they have to write whatever comes to their minds- this is what she calls the shitty first drafts. They later edit those drafts to come up with perfect pieces. She says that it’s possible for a writer to find the thrilling or appealing ideas after writing so much of what she doesn’t need in which case if one didn’t write the crap probably he she would never get to the point where they write the appealing stuff. Lamott says that the perceptions most people have of how writers work is different from the reality of the work. She narrates how even after a long time writing she would feel empty even after doing research (1). She used would struggle writing, cancel even what seemed sensible at first until when she would decide to write anything after which she would come up with a good write-up.
Peter Elbow asserts that the most effective way to improve one’s writing is by doing ‘free writing’ which he explains as the art of writing anything that comes into one’s mind for given period of time a day at least thrice a week nonstop. Though seemingly crazy he says, free writing allows one avoid the extensive editing that writing allows. He challenges readers to consider the many times they have made great speeches even when they had started the speech so poorly. He asserts that this is the principle to powerful writing. He further says that seeking to have a perfectly knitted write up right at the beginning of writing is preparing to kill any possibility of becoming a writer leave alone a great one as it would make one give up on writing
The idea brought about by both Elbow and Lamott are a bit new to many of us including me as we have gone through an education system that discourages it as learners are coerced into accepting the existing content without questioning. My experience of trying to use the method in writing school assignments never bore considerable positive fruits. Both Lamott and Elbow agree that the secret to becoming a great writer is simply writing what comes to one’s mind without considerations of whether it is what one wants the readers to see and then editing later. However Lamott unlike Elbow seems to encourage writers to not just write anything about anything but rather to make a coherent line of thoughts. On the other hand, Elbow allows one to write anything including repeating the same word so long as one does not stop writing within the time set for writing.
I absolutely agree with the two that writers should just write whatever comes to their mind however senseless it, may seem. However I agree more with Lamotts idea more than Elbow’s because I have a feeling he’s a bit too extreme when he allows one to write even one word over and over again until the next idea comes to mind, when he even says one can just write ‘ I don’t have anything to write’ just to keep writing (2)’.
References
Elbow, P. (2007). Writing without teachers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lamott, A. (n.d.). Shitty First Drafts. Read More
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