I’ve been reading a fantastic book called Bird by bird by Anne Lamott. It’s possibly the best thing I’ve read on the art (and angst) of writing.
It’s not a traditional instruction on writing, just an excellent collection of thoughts on the process of writing (which are – as it turns out – instructional as well). Lamott talks about why people write, and what really matters in the creative process.
She writes beautifully, soulfully, and with lots of dark humour. I love it. (Thanks to my editor, who recommended this gem.)
Reading it is like eating a tasty, nourishing meal. Every mouthful is wonderful, and I want to slow down and take my time because each chapter gives me something new to think about – not necessarily about the book I’m working on, but my own creative process and what’s important to me when I write.
It’s not a new book, but anyone who’s even half serious about writing will have more than one moment where they close their eyes and think ‘thank God, it’s not just me…’
There are some great bits of advice throughout the book, and I’ll share some of them in future posts. First up, thought, is a quote Lamott includes early on in the book that really resonated with me, from American author E.L. Doctorow:
‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’
It’s great advice for writing and, I think, for life.