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Courtney Bostic

Professor Greene
September 16, 2015
Answer the following questions about the reading (found also at the end of the piece):
1. Why is it so hard for many people (maybe you) to knowingly put bad writing
on paper? I feel like its hard for people to write down bad writing because people feel
like its wrong. People dont want to make mistakes when writing because they have been
raised to not write bad only to right well.
2. What are your own coping strategies for getting started on a piece of
writing? Do you have particular strategies for making yourself sit down and start
writing? When I start writing I always make an outline to get my key points out. Then I
write my rough draft based on my outline. My rough draft is never completely organized
because its more of a way for me to put all my information together before I strictly
organize it all.
3. What would you say is the funniest line in this piece? Why did it make you
laugh?I think that the funniest part of this piece was when the author described writing a
first draft as a child's draft. It made me laugh because I never thought about it like that,
but its so true everyone's first draft is just a bunch of information put together that
wouldnt make sense to anyone else reading it.
4. Most readers find that Lamott sounds very down-to-earth and approachable
in this piece. What is she doing with language and words themselves to give this
impression? I think she comes off like that way because she makes references that make
it easier to relate to. She wants to make herself seem just like everyone else and make it
seem personable to anyone reading it.
5. Lamott talks, toward the end of this piece, about all the critical voices that
play in her mind when shes trying to write. Most, maybe all, writers have
something similar. What are yours? For me, the voices in my head are usually
questioning my opinions or just things in general. When writing a piece I typically have a
way or path I decide to take, but when I begin to write I start hearing these voices and
thoughts in my head that make me feel like I should take a different route or even change
my opinion on a topic to agree with everyone else.
I consider organization a good writing characteristic because if an essay or piece is not structured
or organized its very hard to understand and interpret what someone is trying to say. I also think

grammar and word choice is a great characteristic when writing. Without grammar the sentences
would be run ons and the piece wouldnt look as sophisticated. Word choice is a big one for me
because choosing what word to use in different phrases says a lot about the writer. Lastly,
figurative language is crucial when writing long stories or any sort of writing in my opinion.
Figurative language gives the writer the ability to connect to his or her audience in a unique way.
Rule #9: Read a lot- Stephen King: I agree because without reading people
wouldnt know a lot of things. Reading enhances people when it comes to writing
because it will give them more ideas to use. In my opinion reading definitely helps me
because I learn everything from writing that way and it helps me become a better writer
each day.
Rule #8: Never use a long word when a short one will do- George Orwell: I am
half and half with this rule because for me I feel as though using long words make
someone sound more credible and sophisticated. Although, I also thinking using easier
words make it better for the audience to grasp on to what the writer is talking about. I
know for me it is a lot easier and less dreadful for me to read something with more
common and easier words than writing that has big and complex words.
Rule #7: Never use the passive voice when you can use the active voice- George
Orwell: I agree because I feel like even though stories and memories are always nice to
go back to, active is more real and reliable. Its better to write in an active voice because I
feel as though people are more interested in whats happening now rather then what did
Rule #6: Know and understand your audience- Pierre Berton: I agree with this
rule because even though writing is not always to get someone to agree with you its still
showing the author as a person and maybe releasing some emotions and opinions he or
she has. If the writer understands and knows their audience they have a higher chance of
grabbing people's attention and getting their point across.
Rule #5: Recycle and read the good stuff before you write- Pierre Berton: I
disagree with this rule because I feel like not every writer is going to write about how
something is good. Writing about good and bad things could possibly strengthen the
argument in a piece or simply just make the writing better.
Rule #4: Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary- Andrew Morton: I am half
and half with this rule because I feel like the ordinary opinion can be good however, I
also feel as though out of the ordinary can be good depending on the topic and audience.
Although, both of them work very well in my opinion.

Rule #3: Good copy=draft-10%- Stephen King: I disagree because I feel as

though the good draft should be a lot better than the rough draft. Even though rough
drafts are crucial when writing the final draft or good draft is still important and is
considered to better than the rough draft.
Rule #2: Look at every word in a sentence and decide if they are really needed. If
not, kill them. Be ruthless- Bob Cooper: I agree with this rule because people like writing
better when its easier to understand. Sometimes its more confusing when theres more
words or too many words. Its better to get the point across in a short and sweet way.
Rule #1: Remember writing doesnt love you. It doesnt care. Nevertheless, it can
behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, and pass it on.- Al
Kennedy: I agree with this rule because writing has helped me in many ways and I know
it will continue to do so.