Response and Reflection on “Shitty First Drafts”

English 101

Write a response to the article “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott.

Response and Reflection on “Shitty First Drafts”


Anne Lamott’s essay, “Shitty First Drafts,” discredits the idea that writing is a seamless process. Even when the writer is extremely talented and vastly experienced, crafting initial shitty drafts is always an essential step. Although the audience may perceive writers to be natural gurus, Lammott submits that none of them ever crafts the final copy in one go. Instead, amazing writing is a product of repeated idea formulation, reviewing, and editing. According to Lamott, the life of an author depends on his/her writing. No writer would risk being rejected by the audience over claims of deterioration. They would rather strive to craft their work in a manner that the audience would find it hard to resist reading it. For this reason, even the professional writers struggle to communicate and perfect the art of writing.  Shitty first drafts are the starting point for all writers. Ideas are first outlined in the initial drafts without much attention being paid on the quality, structure, flow, or length. Enhancements are added in the second and third drafts until the essay is polished up and ready for publishing. Lamott concludes her essay by reiterating that personal, primitive, and shitty first drafts must always precede the fine-tuned and quality final copies meant for public consumption.

Response on “Shitty First Drafts”

Truth be told, Lamott’s approach to writing is universally accepted. She manages to instill logic into her submissions. In any case, even the simplest of writing tasks can be very challenging at first. Just before a student starts the introduction part of an essay, the mind is often crowded with too many possible starting points and ideas. Out of repeated experience, losing focus is very easy in such situations. Moreover, the worry that the essay might not make sense is always lingering around the mind of an author. According to the article ““Shitty First Drafts,” letting it loose and writing a preparatory draft helps the writer outline the main ideas which can be further revised with a professional touch. Jotting down something, whether sensible or otherwise, not only helps releases the worries but also saves time. Although the human mind eyes the perfect approach, getting there calls for a phased process of outlining rough ideas in primary drafts, editing the notes, and finally refining them. The idea that “writers do not really know what they are doing until it is done” perfectly resonates well with all authors. Although the ideas in the initial draft may seem vague at first, things naturally fall into position after seeing the bigger picture. In the end, every sensible writer who experiences challenges getting things started must agree with Lamott’s approach to writing.


The sentence subject is a thing, a place, or a person at the center of the action portrayed in a particular thought. Sentence verbs, doing words, often describe the actions being advanced by the subject. Locating the subject in a sentence requires a person to find the verb. Whatever the action being illustrated, ask who or what is behind it. An independent clause denotes a standalone and reasonable thought. It is the complete opposite of a dependent clause which has to be attached to a dependent phrase to make sense. Lamott’s essay is an educative resource from which I have accumulated a host of good writing habits. For instance, taking time to formulate draft shitty drafts before preparing final assignment copies is a tactic that I plan to use in the future. Rather than be a perfectionist, I have learned to take risks and make writing a fun endeavor.

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Published On: 07-06-2017

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