Comparative Essay on Lamott's 'Perfectionism' and 'Shitty First Drafts"

Topics: Writing, Essay, Short story Pages: 2 (473 words) Published: October 16, 2008
While reading the two papers I felt as if I had simply turned to a continuation of the first essay. This was not necessarily as bad as the sentence implies. I found that both topics were slightly different but still obviously connected. Lamott seems to keep the same ideas through out the two pieces.

The essay entitled, Perfectionism was an inspiring piece, discussing that of which haunts all writers: perfect writing. The over all though of perfectionism seemed to be that it was a curse but one that could be over come. Perfectionism seemed to focus more on acceptance of mistakes, and enjoying the process instead of forcing a perfect product. Lamott's Shitty First Drafts, to me seemed more focused on a subtopic of perfectionism. Letting the urge to write carry you, type whatever it is the story demands of you then... simply fix it up later.

The two essays seem to imply that there is always something to salvage from the remains of a disaster, and that a disaster made from your own desires carries much more worth than that of a forced and uncomfortable, rule abiding piece. I greatly enjoyed the suggestions for carrying yourself out of those situations. From simply writing what you felt like at the time to using mental imagery to bottle those pesky voices trying to pry their own wants out of you. Lamott carries out the belief of following your own writing, and tossing all the fret out the window.

Both essays seem to remind us that no one is perfect and if they strive only for that, then they are sure to loose out in the end. In Shitty First Drafts Lamott says, “people tend to look at successful writers and think that they sit down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars.... But this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated.” and in Perfectionism, “...perfectionism is based on the belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping stone just right you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and a lot of...
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