Reading Response, 9/6


Matt Stupski, “The Helpful Link”

Ann Lammott, “Shitty First Drafts” (both in On Writing)

Sample QQC: Is Ann Lammott funny? Is she too “wacky?”

In what ways can we consider a video game like The Legend of Zelda to be a text?

Not to brag or anything, but I could have written a much more interesting essay about playing Ocarina of Time. Just sayin’.


35 thoughts on “Reading Response, 9/6

  1. In “The Helpful Link,” what was Matt Stupskis’ point that he was trying to get across? Was he trying to say how this game shaped his life views or how he changed as a person from this game? I could not tell what his main focus was.
    Have any of you felt the way Matt did about a video game before? That invigoration? That rush?
    “Shitty First Drafts” was surprisingly very helpful in my anxiety over writing papers.
    -Renee Lemire

  2. Lauren Anthony
    Why did Matt Stupski have such a strong mindset on finding a hero exactly like the one he had imagined in his own fantasy world?
    In “Shitty First Drafts,” why does the author go off on a tangent about the voices in her head towards the end of the story?
    “Shitty First Drafts” was relieving and it taught me that the first steps of the writing process are not easy, even for famous writers and authors, but you need to start somewhere.

  3. “The Helpful Link” : What does Matt’s family think about his addiction to the Legend of Zelda?

    “Shitty First Drafts” : Why does the author talk about her experience with the hypnotist at the end of the story?

    “Shitty First Drafts” may be a short essay, but it really highlights the process of what every writer goes through.

    -Michelle Wu

  4. Matt, the author of “The Helpful Link” seemed to be a well rounded kid until he came face to face with video games. The beginning of the narrative was interesting and well written, but as it came to a close it became corny and was typical. He needed to stay interested to keep the reader interested.

    Why did Matt see Link as more of a real-life hero than Mario and Luigi?

    Do you go through the same writing process that Ann goes through?

  5. In “The Helpful Link”, why was Stupski drawn to becoming the underdog in all of his imaginations?

    In “The Helpful Link”, what was the one aspect of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”, that made Stupski so attracted to it?

    In “Shitty First Drafts”, I liked how Lamett admitted that even she writes terrible first drafts. It makes me, as a writer, feel more confident.


  6. Could Matt Stupski, author of “The Helpful Link”, use some of the skills he learned from video games to benefit him in real life?

    How long did it take for Anne Lamott, author of “Shitty First Drafts,” to become comfortable and okay with writing bad first drafts?

    In “Shitty First Drafts”, I loved how a professional writer brought herself down to my level. I never like my first draft and I appreciate how she reveals to me that truly no one does and that there is still hope even with a terrible first draft.

  7. Do you think the main character in “The Helpful Link,” was living his life as if he was in a video game and not the real world?

    Did Anne Lamott learn this process of writing shitty first drafts on her own or did she pick it up from previous authors?

    I liked that in “Shitty First Drafts,” the author opened up to not always having the perfect essay at some point. It made the read more enjoyable because I was able to relate to her.

  8. Who is Muriel Spark? What did she write when she felt like she was taking diction from God every morning?

    Did Matt Stupski title his work “The Helpful Link” because he found that the video game character Link helped him through life?

    I enjoyed the intro to “The Helpful Link.” It intrigued me while also somewhat confusing me. But I guess I’m not one to understand much about the thought process during video games considering I don’t play them.

  9. In “The Helpful Link,” why does Matt Stupski insist that the grown up world has killed his imagination?

    Why is it so painful for Anne Lamott to write the first, bad draft?

    I really liked Anne Lamott’s random, witty comments. They made her writing seem less serious and helped me relate to her more.

    Christie Gleason

  10. In “The Helpful Link” why does the main character want his “hero” to be just as he imagined him, why can’t he accept that there are different heroes and they are all different?

    The writer in “Shitty First Drafts” says that we all have the same terrible first drafts. So when do great writers and shitty writers distinguish themselves from one another?

    I enjoyed “The Helpful Link” since I could connect to the characters. When I was thirteen or fourteen I was addicted to video games, the only difference is that I sold all the consoles I owned. I refuse to play them again as I believe they won’t really improve my life or give me great entertainment.

  11. In “Shitty First Drafts”, Lamott compares first drafts to a child’s draft; roaming freely and filled with unnecessary thoughts. Would you say that most first drafts are like this?

    From what you have read, in what ways is Stupski’s persona closely related to that of Link?

    Like Mike Hendrickson and MTV, I feel like Matt Stupski was shaped by the characters in the video games which he grew up playing. He learned that a true hero is not arrogant and carefree, but rather, determined and humble.

  12. The Helpful Link
    Is the author’s personality similar to that of Link?
    Has the author’s life been affected by Link’s?
    The author has given his life to Link’s.

    Shitty First Drafts
    Why did the author write this essay?
    Why is it such a struggle for the author to write?
    The author of this text is critically acclaimed.

  13. In The Helpful Link, why did the author prefer the hero Link to the goofy hero Mario? Why did he feel negative towards him?

    Why does Anna Lamott emphasize the fact that authors aren’t always as terrific in the beginning of their work?

    The Helpful Link describes a childhood based on adventure, which eventually turned the author into the man he was.

  14. In “The Helpful Link” why did the author feel that Link was more of a realistic character than the players in sports games, who actually are real?

    Was the assignment of reading “Shitty First Drafts” a hint to us that our drafts due at conference next week really can be shitty?

    Anna Lamott described my thought process at the beginning of a paper perfectly when she talked about not having any ideas and just staring at the paper.

  15. In “The Helpful Link” why does the author limit the time he spends playing video games?
    In “Shitty First Drafts” why does the author use mice as a symbol of the people in her life?
    “The Helpful Link” is a good interpretation of a child looking up to someone to help guide them in become adults.

  16. Why is the author of “Shitty First Drafts” always contemplating suicide? Is being a writer really that frustrating?

    What did Anne Lamott’s friend mean by “It is just a piece of chicken. It is just a bit of cake.” and why is that relevant advice to the rough draft?

    Anne Lamott described what I go through every time I begin writing a fist draft. I’m glad I’m not the only one that grapples with their first draft.

  17. Shitty First Drafts was a interesting noting that the author wanting to commit suicide just cause of frustration.

    The helpful link
    Why is Matt so addicted to Zelda .

    Ann goes through writers block like everyone else .

  18. In the Helpful Link why does the author feel like growing up is killing his imagination?

    How do you think Link aspired Matt in his life?

    I like the story on link because my brother use to play Zelda growing up.

  19. If Matt Stupski had never played video games in his life time would a visual medium be more influential in his life than possibly a written medium?
    Why did the hypnotist’s method work so well on Lamott?
    “Shitty First Drafts” made me feel better about my own first drafts.

  20. While reading “Helping Link,” did anyone get the sense that he believes things creativity and dreams are overlooked as we grow older?

    Did anyone else find Ann Lammott’s use of humor in “Shitty First Drafts” helpful when it comes to your own drafts?

    After reading “Shitty First Drafts” I feel much better about my first drafts. I usually extremely hate them.

    – Le’otis Boswell-Johnson

  21. In Matt Stupski’s, “The Helpful Link”, why is the narrator so against adulthood and how could one group destroy his creativity?

    After reading “Shitty First Drafts” did anyone else immediately think of a time when they could not think of anything useful to write about?

    I strongly connected with Anne Lamott’s story, because I cannot think of anything to write about for our first paper about the media.

    Louie Copley

  22. In “The Helpful Link” why does the author not like growing up? Why does he feel its killing his imagination?

    Why do you believe Anne Lamott made a comparison to voices in your head to mice?

    This made me a little less scared to write my paper. I just hope I won’t have to write one called “Shitty Final Drafts”.

  23. In Stupski’s “The Helpful Link” would Matt Stupski have developed into the same type of adult had he not been introduced to video games in his youth, or at all?
    Why does Anne Lamott begin with such a narrow minded view of how society looks at the publication of a work, when many probably know that it is a long and tedious process?
    Anne Lamott’s opinions were all very reassuring to the fact that I struggle to get started and to write something worthy being proud of.

  24. When kids see themselves as the hero or the game winning athlete, they usually are a bit obnoxious. So what makes Matt in “The Helpful Link” want to be a humble hero?

    If writers find it so hard to get inspiration and lose their minds while trying to write like Anne in “Shitty First Drafts”, then why do they write?

    I enjoyed reading “The Helpful Link” compared to “Shitty First Drafts” because in my mind I can see how things that i did as a kid for fun helped shape me into the person i am today just like Matt had written about him and the video game.

  25. Why does Matt Stupski say “oozed self- poise” in “The Helpful Link”? I personally think it’s an odd word choice.
    People use to tell me that my look-alike could be Zelda.
    Why did you have us read “Shitty First Drafts”? Do you expect our first drafts to suck that bad when you read them?
    ~Kaitlyn Klingberg

  26. Why does Matt in “The helpful Link” want to be a humble hero?

    Was I the only one who thought about a time in “Shitty First Drafts” where I couldn’t think of anything to write?

    I enjoyed reading this because it reminded me of how things made me to be who I am today

    Kathryn Kennedy

  27. Why did Matt love Link so much and not other popular video game characters?

    Why did Anne Lamott use the diction she used in “Shitty First Drafts?”

    I felt like “Shitty First Drafts” will help me write a better paper.

  28. Why did Matt connect so well with Link and that game instead of others more like real life?

    In “Shitty First Drafts” the author is always contemplating suicide, but then why does she keep doing it?

    I thought the way Matt used Link to stay young and not really grow up was cool.

  29. In “The Helpful Link” why does the author feel so strongly that growing up will kill his imagination?

    Why does Matt consider Link to be such a great hero?

    I like how Lamott makes it clear that your writing doesn’t have to be perfect right away.

  30. Why does the author of “The Helpful Link” so afraid of growing up affecting his imagination? He can always play video games when he’s older.
    Is the author in “Shitty First Drafts” actually contemplating suicide or is she just being dramatic about her writers block?
    I personally enjoyed the humor in “Shitty First Drafts.” I can relate to the author and her frustration with writers block.

  31. In the “The Helpful Link”, does the author take Link’s personality from the game and act like him?

    In “Shitty First Drafts” does it seem like writing a draft is unstructured?

    I don’t think games should be paralleled with reality.

  32. Q – “The Helpful Link” (Matt Stupski) – Is it the characters or the environment that makes Stupski prefer the Legend of Zelda over Mario [Bros]?

    Q – “Shitty First Drafts” (Ann Lamott) – Although she does speak of the hypnotist’s exercise at the end, why doesn’t Lamott talk about getting the juices flowing/brainstorming to help make the shitty first draft less shitty?

    C – “The Helpful Link” – I really liked how Stupski spoke about the games he would play outdoors as a child. I think it captures the endless imagination of a child very well. The first paragraph is also pretty accurate (happens to me when I play games too).

    -Becky B.

  33. -“The Helpful Link”- In the conclusion of his essay, why does Stupski replace all of his time spent in his “fantasy world” with an equivalent task in the real world?

    -“Shitty First Drafts”- How many drafts did it take to write her essay on Shitty First Drafts?

    – I like how in “Shitty First Drafts” Lamott uses “xx” not as a word but as something that’s being crossed out on paper. Its an Image with letters, which i think is creative.

  34. Why does Matt Stupski say that the real world has killed his imagination? The video game “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” was not his imagination in the first place.

    In “Shitty First Drafts,” it seems like there is no way to get around writing a shitty first draft, is this true?

    In “Shitty First Drafts,” I life the process her friend has on papers. The first draft is the “down draft,” the second draft is the “up draft,” and the third is the “dental draft.”

  35. In ” The Helpful Link” why does it take him about half the essay to talk about Zelda?

    Does anyone feel like writing after reading “Shitty First Drafts”?

    I found Anne Lamott’s humor very entertaining.

    -Zachary Anders

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