Tuesday, October 26, 2010


literacy 2
I found it interesting to see Lamott use the term “shitty first draft” because I often use a term similar to it about my first drafts. When I start writing I often start typing everything on my mind and not considering grammar, organization, or spelling. I just type as fast as I can as my thoughts flow through my mind to be sure that I put everything down that I want to put down. Once I am finished it looks like what I call word vomit on my pages. I print it out, pull out a green pen because I find red to be seen as a negative color, and start fixing my errors, adding descriptive, and changing words. I find that it can be difficult at times for me to go over the draft but I enjoy writing like this and tend to end up with a better piece of writing.
I am starting to feel like I am learning so much right now in this class that I hope I can remember it all. I am enjoying watching my kindergartener as he seems to change every week. I have noticed several of the phonics and phonemic awareness taking place at my dyad and in my main placement that I have been going back to visit. It seems that I feel like I am starting to better understand why a student does what they do when they are writing and reading. It’s been a lot of fun for me to start to really see what I am learning on campus in the classrooms.


  1. It's terrific that you have already discovered how powerful, and freeing, terrible first drafts can be. It has always made me feel better about sharing my early writing to know that the people whose writing I most admire (people like Kathy Au, whose work you'll read later in the course) write really bad first drafts.
    Interesting that you make corrections in green pen. For awhile I wouldn't mark on my students' papers - I'd only use post it notes. Now I use pencil so that students can erase my comments if they want to.
    I'm glad that you're seeing phonics and phonemic awareness development with your kindergarten buddy and in your placements. Kids learn so fast! Just wait until you meet with your kindergarten buddy in March!

  2. Tina,
    I love the concept of a shitty first draft too! I've always struggled with the idea of writing things down before I was happy with what I was saying. It's very freeing to think about writing a draft down and being able to think about and appreciate it for what it is: a rough draft. And it's important to remember that nobody's writing is ever perfect-much less the first time around.

  3. I wonder if the process you go through with your writing is exemplifying not only the "shitty first draft" Lamott describes, but also Routman's main point, that writing is to communicate thought. Since language is the tool for our thoughts, I am thinking that maybe your first draft is your super brain thinking visibly and creating a meaning. Then, your editing is working with the thinking and meaning you've just made in print to make it not just your thoughts and meanings themselves but also the message of your thoughts and meanings to somebody else.

    Additionally, I wonder if your care to not use a "negative" red pen is taking care to respect your thoughts, and therefore, yourself. Routman, Lamott, and Fox all seem to project the importance of respect so thoroughly throughout their books, I wonder if any of them ever use a red pen. I also wonder how often a different colored writing/editing utensil has slipped into disrespect and become as negative as red.