Monday, November 8, 2010


Litercay 4
Lamott seems to really capture me. I feel like I am sitting down with her with at a coffee shop and discussing writing. Although she is harsh at times, I feel that she is honest on her thoughts, like a friend who sometimes tells you things you do not want to hear and keeps telling you until they are sure you heard them. There are times when I feel like we are talking about me and how I write but then we jump to how students I have watched and observe write.
This week as I read it I felt like we were talking about me as a person and how who I am affects how I write. It made me realize that if I sat down more often and just started writing I would probably do very well with it. I am often like the person she talks about in her book who stands back and observes what is going on around them instead of participating in it. I like to see what is happening before I get into something and can’t get out of it. I like to see the whole picture. I feel like I have a lot going through my mind and if I could put it down on paper it might turn out to be more organized that what it is in my mind. If I could take what I see and make it into something new that people would be able to connect to and enjoy I wonder how my writing would turn out.
Lamott talks about how writing often has a hidden message in it whether it is meant to or not. I think that this is very true however; it seems that as humans we need to find purpose for something therefore we make up the meanings and sometimes the meaning will be different for me than what it would be for someone else.
Lamott takes a look at Mel Brooks advice saying “Listen to your broccoli, and your broccoli will tell you how to eat it”. She relates it to intuition and how we need to put aside the still voices inside of us that cause us to jugde and have doubt but to write without thinking about what it is that we are saying. We are so use to being doubtful of our work and have little confidence in what we say or do that our work doesn’t turn out as well as it might if we just followed our intuition.


  1. Well, I am "able to connect to and enjoy" what you wrote in this blog post, ESPECIALLY the part about "sometimes the meaning will be different for me than what it would be for someone else." I think that is the coolest part about the meaning making, that not only do differences not necessarily divide people, they actually (sometimes) help to unite us in unique ways. For example, both tomato plants and apple trees use air, water, light, and soil, but tomato plants use it and make tomatoes and apple trees use it and make apples. Amazing! I don't think one person can ever truly understand another's meaning exactly, because they're different people with different experiences. Just like a person can try to listen to their broccoli all day long, it is still our intuition that will be doing more of the talking.

    When you said, "I feel like I have a lot going through my mind and if I could put it down on paper it might turn out to be more organized than what it is in my mind." I can completely relate to this idea and I think Routman would too, that writing is not only a tool to show and record our thinking, but writing is a tool for thinking itself. Another reason that students must learn to think of themselves as writers to help think of themselves as thinkers.

  2. Tina,

    I've really enjoyed reading Lammott for a lot of the same reasons. I loved how you described her as friend who sometimes tells you what you may not want to hear. Some of the things she says are uncomfortable to think about. But when you sit down and look at those things objectively, you realize how they can help you.

    I liked what she said about sitting down and writing before you can see everything that's going to happen. When we wait to figure out every detail that's going to happen before we write, we're not as open to any changes that could make our writing great.


  3. Tina,

    Sounds like you have been enjoying reading Lamott as much as I have been. I feel like she is a wise guru taking me along on a writing journey. It is interesting that you wonder about whether writing things down might help you when you have so many things going on in your head. I am often full of unorganized thoughts when I start writing. I am very grateful for Lamott’s acknowledgement of "the down draft and then the up draft". My first drafts are typically down very, very low.

    I also appreciate Lamott’s normalizing anxiety and self doubt. She helps get us started and then she insists we do not look too far ahead else we might not get to where we are going.