Shitty First Drafts

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Thesis: Anne Lamott’s essay ‘Shitty First Drafts’ is an excellent piece of work which helps amateur writers change their perspective of the writing process. Lamott disputes the misconception that successful writers simply sit down and churn out fully formed passages and chapters. Instead, she suggests that nearly every writer, no matter how successful, writes what she calls a “shitty first draft.” In fact, Lamott suggests that a shitty first draft is an almost obligatory starting point. She recalls writing restaurant reviews for California magazine. Her reviews would take shape only after she gave herself permission to write a terrible first draft. Lamott’s intended audience is anyone who wants to write, either for class or simply for leisure. Hence, her audience is quite wide and I applaud her for using simple language, without resorting to complex jargons, in making her point. The purpose of her essay is to change the dynamics of writing. Often to amateur writers, the process of writing seems like a chore; a mountain of words to sieve through before they can create a comprehensible wall of text. Lamott uses witty lines and anecdotes from famous writers to show that everyone faces the same problem and provides a simple enough solution. In my mind at least, this short piece has enabled me to look at essays in a different manner. That it’s alright to make mistakes and your first draft can be like throwing poop at a blank canvas; you can always clean it up later. In persuading her readers, Lamott uses ethos, logos and pathos to great effect. Ethos, or credibility, is used by taking anecdotes from many famous writers. Even Lamott herself has great credibility when discussing writing tips because of her vast experience in journalism and writing novels. Logos, or the appeal to logic, is done Prior to reading the essay by Lamott, I did what most students do; Try

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