bird by bird by Anne Lamott

I don’t remember how long this book has been on my list to read. There is something about the genuine, friendly way Ms. Lamott writes that is so encouraging. You can do it! (write, that is) But you have to . . . well, do it. Don’t get stuck in the forest, describe the scene ‘tree by tree.’ (my metaphor ala ‘bird by bird’).

I am seriously considering taking the fall quarter ‘Master Class’ where you focus on writing a longer work. What would that be, though? I have started — and stopped — my memoir (childhood and dysfunctional family life) and my memoir (spiritual evolution). I have written tons of poetry and I have written impressionistic essays about my trip to India. A certain friend who I started to fall in love with, “S,” [not in wwfac] has her share of magical renderings. I know I have a book in me! If anyone can coax it out of me, it’d be Kathy Wade (teacher of the Master Class).

But what would Anne Lamott say? She would say things like “The development of relationship creates plot.” She would give John Gardner credit for his wisdom: “The writer is creating a dream into which he or she invites the reader, and that dream must be vivid and continuous.” And “Each writer will come up with his or her own description of what love and life are all about.” Isn’t she inspiring? She makes me excited, she reminds me that I have stories to share.

So I just need to do it. Face that blank computer screen. Look inside, write it down. In some big ways, my blog is giving me a reason for be disciplined. I have committed to writing a three line poem every day for 108 days. I just wrote #67 last night. It isn’t that difficult once you set your mind to it. I am hoping that writing a longer piece, a novel, if you will, will capture all my senses and compel me to face the blank screen of my mind, engage my heart, and write as if my story depends upon it. For it does.

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