Bonehead Writing Summary

The Pains of Writing It is sometimes difficult to articulate the things you want to say on paper. Lamott and Vetter are two professional writers who discuss the struggles of writing. Both writers agree that writing is a difficult process that will cause you agonizing pain. However, Lamott offers a solution to the pain whereas Vetter stays negative. Lamott and Vetter both use humor to discuss their own theories on the writing process. Vetter seems to think, “All you have to do is spend 40 to 50 hours working up an idea, a sentence that looks… [like you] took 90 seconds to make” (38).

Vetter humor throughout the essay is kind of a dark negative style. He seems to joke about people and how they never will be able to write. Lamott claims that, “While writing my mind being left to its own devices spends much of its time having conversations with people who aren’t there” (73). Lamott likes to joke about what the writing process does to her.

Throughout the essay she has an insightful humor on the writing process. Both writers use humor throughout their explanations of the writing process. They just have a different flavor of humor and target their jokes differently.

Bonehead Writing Craig Vetter

Lamott and Vetter both use their own unique vivid language when describing the difficulties of writing. Vetter explains, “While the truth is that writing is a blood sport, a walk in the garden of agony every time out” (37). Vetter vivid language shows how writing is a gruesome painful task, a process that no one will ever learn.

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Lamott says, “Let’s not forget the dogs, the dogs in their pen who will surely hurtle and snarl their way out if you ever stop writing, because writing is, for some of us, the latch that keeps the door of the pen closed, keeps those crazy ravenous dogs contained”(72).

To Lamott the critical voices in your head are those “crazy ravenous dogs” (72). Lamott vivid language explains that there is ways to contain the fears of writing. While their vivid overall examples match Lamott uses more descriptive examples than Vetter. Lamott and Vetter theories on writing are their own personal beliefs. Vetter states that, “There isn’t one in a thousand teachers who know the first damn thing about writing” (37). He believes that anyone who has learned the wretched craft had to of taught themselves (Vetter 37).

Vetter has a very negative belief on writing. He feels that no one can write or ever be taught how to write. Vetter feels that trying to teach someone how to write is a lost cause. Lamott states that, “A friend once told her the first draft is getting it down, the second draft is the fix up one, while the third draft, the dental draft god help is the healthy one” (72). To Lamott all good writers have a “shitty first draft” (70). She believes anyone can learn how to write. That it just takes working out all the problems you have while writing and finding their solutions.

Two professional writers who seem to have very different prospective and beliefs on the writing process and what it entails. Lamott believe you can overcome your problems by writing a “shitty first draft” (70) While Vetter believes writing cannot be taught and doesn’t offer the beginning writer any hope. These two professional writers have some similar and different beliefs on writing. They both agree that writing is a difficult process that will cause you pain. They both have a different sense of humor and express it in their own ways.

Lamott vivid language shows that she feels there is hope for the beginning writer. Unlike Vetter who uses gruesome descriptive language to show that there is no hope for the beginning writing. While Lamott thinks that there is hope Vetter remains negative. Work Cited 1. Lamott, Anne. “Shitty First Drafts. ” Essays on Writing . Ed. Lizabeth A Bryant and Heather M Clark. New York: Longman-Pearson, 2009. 69-74. Print. 2. Vetter, Craig. “Bonehead Writing. ” Essays on Writing. ED. Lizabeth A Bryant and Heather M Clark. New York: Longman-Pearson, 2009. 35-39. Print

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