The author divulges some highly anticipated insight on the publication process. She details an average experience searching for an agent, as well as some of her own triumphs and trials. She shares an embarrassing encounter with a sales clerk: While shopping for a dress for a speaking engagement at a mall, Lamott explains that she is an author. And, after the clerk makes a bit of a production, assuring her she has heard of her because she reads everything, Lamott shares her name and is let down when she goes unrecognized. While playfully advising writers against the “cosmic banana peel,” she reiterates that ego and publication should not be the sole purpose to writing.
Some of Anne Lammot’s most important advice is this: “…you figure out that the real payoff is the writing itself, that a day when you have gotten your work done is a good day, that total dedication is the point.” (Lamott 215). While Fulkerson’s essay focuses on writing in the classroom, he describes several aspects of expressivism that Lamott shares. “Expressivists cover a wide range, from totally accepting and non-directive teachers, some of whom insist that one neither can nor should evaluate writing, to much more directive, experiential teachers who design classroom activities to maximize student self-discovery.” (Fulkerson 344). The expressive movement, which became prominent in the late sixties and early seventies, holds the ideal that evaluation is not the point of writing. This is identical to Lamott’s assertion that publication is not the point. The process and fulfillment of the writer is the purpose of good writing.