For this weeks journey log I want to talk about rough drafts for papers and how to be creative about starting a draft rather than just slathering dull lines onto a page to meet a word count.
We read about writing drafts and not being overwhelmed by the work load in Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on writing and life", however before I dove head first into following the instructions from the article, I wanted to see why I should listen to Anne Lamott. I decided to look into her background and history as a writer and discovered that Anne was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985. She has written 7 novels and even more nonfiction. She was a student at Goucher College and wrote the newspaper there. ("Anne Lamott"). With this background in writing and her several works, I decided that she would know just as much as the next guy how to start a draft.
With that being said, one thing that I like about starting a draft that I did not feel that Anne mentioned was to try and be as risky and creative with the first draft as possible. I like to throw down bizarre ideas and make them seem intelligent whether it is a good point or just a load of shit. I am not the only one who sees this creativity as a set up for success, as John Clothier states "that our best technical writing is creative, not dogmatically restrained" (Clothier, p. 24). This is from a work that is completely about creativity in technical writing which seems contradictory. Why this seems contradictory is because the education system, that is now changing to accommodate for this, drills in the concept that technical writing follows a guideline, and everything must follow those guidelines in order to be correct. This cuts creativity out of the equation for most students who only show up and write in order to get a grade.
What all this means is that there are many different ways to start a draft, but being creative, and having fun seem to be the best way to begin. This is true for all types of writing, technical writing included. Many people are set in their ways and may disagree, however the education system is trying to reform itself to get back to critical thinking and creative writing which leads me to believe this is correct.
“Anne Lamott.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Feb. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Lamott. Accessed 27 Feb. 2017.
Clothier, John. “Creativity in Technical Writing.” Technical Communication, vol. 14, no. 1,1967, pp. 24–26., www.jstor.org/stable/43151329.