A few days ago, when I started the Blogging from the Heart curriculum, I purchased the audio version of Bird by Bird, by Anne Larnott. Chapter 1 has made me laugh out loud several times. I don’t necessarily relate to the “I just want to be published” comments that her students often talk to her about, but I definitely relate to the times she discusses the love she (and many authors) have for books. I love to hold books, have them around me, and have always had stacks and stacks waiting to be read. The library was really one of my favorite places growing up, although my grades didn’t demonstrate it.
When I find a book that I want to read, I tend to buy it and put it on my “to read” stack, which on several occasions has gotten out of control. I now have a “to read” book-case. It is brimming with ideas and stories. I love stories and believe they add richness to our lives. They provide us with lessons, open us up to places in time and around the globe we will never have the opportunity to experience for ourselves. I can’t imagine a life without stories.
I really like Anne’s suggestions and her take on moving forward, writing every day regardless of your mood or inspiration. Taking things one step at a time, and not getting overwhelmed with thoughts on what the reader will say, think, or interpret, is freeing. Having few, if any readers, releases the anxiety a bit. I like that she can describe writing and reading from a passionate standpoint, and then use some humor to set the reader/listener at ease.
Hearing (literally, in her voice via audio) her thoughts so far about listening to your heart and the why’s of your desire to write was a great beginning to her book. I have no intention of doing this for a living, getting published, or being discovered. I don’t want to write the next great American novel or become famous for my wit and prose. What I do want is to express my feelings on paper (or I should say, on-screen) in order to feel things deeper and tap into my internal dialogue. I want to see what happens when I let go, not worrying about who will read this. I want to watch my writing style and abilities improve over time. And if along the way I find a unique voice, or tap into something that is worth shouting from the rooftops, great, but I am not holding out hope on that one!
I am working on 1% improvements over time, rather than focusing too much on my end goal. I am taking it “bird by bird”…..
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blmiers2/6803496340/
- Bird by Bird – Ann Lamott – Book Review (susannahartigan.com)
- Reading About Writing (lilscribbler.wordpress.com)