I read my friend and fellow writer Erica O’Rourke’s blog last week. She was interviewed and mentions the writing books she keeps in the house and reads again and again. One of them was Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.
Now I had heard of this book before and honestly, I thought I knew the premise. The author’s brother had to do a report on Birds and in typical kid fashion, put it off until the last minute. He was basically overwhelmed with what he needed to do. His father told him to just take it bird by bird to get the report done.
I figured the point of the book was that you should take your writing one step at a time. Don’t try to write the whole thing in one sitting, etc. etc. etc. So I was never inclined to pick up the book.
Well, I like Erica. She’s cute, super nice, witty, smart and extremely talented, so I thought what the heck. Let’s put Erica’s wisdom to the test and see if the book is all that.
You know what? It is.
I know, I was shocked. (No, not by Erica’s wisdom, you see I just told you I thought she was smart. Were you not reading? ) I was shocked that the book had such an impact on me.
I picked the book up on Friday and was done by Sunday. Yeah, I do read fast, my daughter says I read a book about every ten seconds, but that is so not true. It’s really more like twenty.
But I digress.
I started reading Bird By Bird and the very next day I woke up and wrote four pages. Now before you shout, “big whip, four pages,” you must know that I have been in a major slump lately. I’ve had no desire to write – at all. Even doing this blog has been like pulling teeth, and trust me I HATE the dentist. Yes, I know they are nice people, but hey, they hurt me. But I’m over it-- can’t you tell?
So I wrote four pages on Saturday, and then Sunday, I wrote two more. Oh, and this blog which usually I wait until I get to work on Monday and go “Oh no, I forgot to write my blog" and then I share the first thing that comes to me. (Okay, technically I don’t say “oh no” but I’m keeping it G rated and for anyone who is at my work and reads this I really DO NOT WRITE AT WORK!)
Bottom line, if you need inspiration take it from me, oh and my friend Erica, (Waving at you - Thanks for the tip!) read Bird By Bird. It’s a lot more than just the story about her brother’s assignment. And if you don’t get inspired from the book I know you will at least get a chuckle or two out of it, it’s that good.
Have a great week!