Shitty_2BDrafts - Shitty First Drafts Anne Lamott trom Bird by Bird Born in San Francisco in I 954 Anne Lantott is a graduate of Goucher College in

Shitty_2BDrafts - Shitty First Drafts Anne Lamott trom Bird...

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Shitty First Drafts Anne Lamott trom Bird by Bird Born in San Francisco in I 954, Anne Lantott is a graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore and is the author of six no,-els, inchtdiizgRosie (19831, Croaked Little Heart (1997).All New People (200()), andBlue Shoes (2()02). She has also beenthe food reviewer for California magazine,a book reviewer for Mademoiselle, and a regular contribxttor /o Salon's "Mothers llrho Think." Her nonfction books include Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's Firsr Year (1993), in which she describes her adventures as a singleparent, andTender Mercies: Sorne fhoughtson Faith (1999), inv,hich she chcrts her journey towardfaith in God. In the follov'ing selection, tal;en fron Lamott's popuiar bock about writing, Bird by Bird (199!, she arguesfor the need to let go andv'rite those "shitry'first drafts" that lead to clari|t and sometimes brilliance in our second and third drafts. Now, practically even better news than that of short assignments is the idea of shitty first drafts. All good 'rvriters write them. This is horv thel' end up with good second drafls and terrific third drafts. People tend to look at successful writers rvho are getting their books published and maybe even doing n'ell financiaily and think that they sit dorvn at their desksevery morning feeling like a million dollars. feeling great about rvho they are and how much talent they' have and what a great story thev have to tell: that they take in a f'erv deep breaths, push back their sleeves. roll their necks a t'ew times to get all the cricks out, and dive in. typing fully formed passages as f'ast as a court reporter. But this is just the fantasy ofthe uninitiated. I knorv some very great writers. rvriters you love who write beautifully- and have made a greatcieal of money. and not one of thern sits down routinely leeling rvilclll enthusiastic and confident. Not one ofthem writes elegant flrst drafts. All right. one ofthem does. but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although i.vhen I mentioned this to mv priest fiiend Tom, he said you can saf'ely assume yorfve created GoC in your own image u.hen it turns oui that God hates all the same people you do.) Very fe*'vrriters really knou u'hat thel' are doing until they've done ii. Nor do
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