Kenny (Jae) Cho
Professor Mary Hays
25 January 2016
Everyone Takes a First Step
This week’s sources, “Shitty First Draft” by Anne Lamott, “How to Mark a Book” by Mortimer J. Adler, and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury all tied in together in a fascinating way. “Shitty First Draft” by Anne Lamott told us that when an author writes a book, they just write whatever that comes to their mind, bird-by-bird, and fix it from there on and “How to Mark a Book” by Mortimer J. Adler told us that a book isn’t truly ours until we have marked up and annotated to understand it as a whole. With these two main points, the last source, which was a video of Ray Bradbury, shows us an example of a person who does both and how he sees the world of literature.
“The Shitty First Draft” said that even the most experienced and skilled authors couldn’t just write a book with one draft. Quiet frankly, the first draft is actually not even close to the final book, and is even embarrassing for anyone else to see, but because these child’s drafts exist, the authors can take additional steps from there and make it all the way to the completed books. On the other hand, “How to Mark a Book” shows us a different perspective of the literature, which is reading. The author, Mortimer J. Adler, tells us that physically having a book in possession isn’t really owning a book. In order to truly own a book, he says that we should mark up and understand itself by parts and eventually as a whole. Even though these two acts are very difficult to do, as the last source, we get an example of someone who does this very well. Ray Bradbury fell in love with reading at a young age and started writing books, becoming a very successful author. He said something that fascinated me very much. “I don’t write the books. The characters come to me and tell me the story. I just merely write it down.” When I heard this, I was just purely admired his imagination. Overall though, when I look at this week’s sources, I can’t help but agree with their thesis statements. Taking things bird-by-bird, step-by-step, not just in literature, but everything in life, I’ve always believed was a smart move to make.
After analyzing all three sources, I feel like I was able to re-evaluate myself as an individual again, asking questions such as, “Am I trying to work step-by-step or am I trying to rush everything?” or “Even though I own so many books, have I truly marked up and understood to own a book, not just physically but mentally?” I realized I’ve got a long way to go, but I believe that because I’m young and I have a lot of time, just like the skilled specialists, in this case, authors or readers, I’ll be able to take my first step, second step, and continue on to become or accomplish something great just like Ray Bradbury.