Lessons from Bird by bird

another bird friend of mine

I've almost finished Bird by bird by Anne Lamott. This book has been so meaningful and real to me. Lamott writes incredibly honestly, generously and humorously about her experiences of writing which makes it easy to identify with (and breathe a sigh of relief about) the writing process and writerly lifestyle: the fight against self-loathing, the fears, the sudden bouts of intense hypochondria, the distraction of inanimate objects that start talking to you… yes yes YES!

There are so many things, practical and beautiful, that I've gotten from reading this book. Here's the short version of things that I'm changing and adding as a result:

1. Selecting two people that I love, whose opinion I respect and who I know will be gentle with my fragile creative soul - to read the 2nd draft of the novel. I've picked one already - based on the fact that a) she is one of my biggest fans. b) she is THE most encouraging person to have EVER graced the earth c) Once I bought an expensive red dress which I later tried on to show her and she had the guts to say: "I think you could do better" and then went back to the shop with me to return it.

2. I’m on the look out for some writers that I can form a very small writing group, to meet once a month to discuss our work and workshop extracts of our writing together. So if you live in Sydney and you want to write more and you think we'd get along, drop me a line. We can take things nice and slow, I promise I'm not one of those desperate people who will tell you that I love you after the first  discussion, I won't emotionally blackmail you by talking about all my ex-writing partners , I'm very  encouraging and just to repeat, I am not desperate at all, no , not me, never...(call me).

3. I'm going to focus on pooling my collection of scribbles, memories, sentences, and moments in a lovely box of inspiration and this lovely blog of inspiration.

4. I’m going to start writing gifts for others, in the form of essays, biographic and fictional novellas, poems (I’m not a poet, but it will be amusing to attempt, if only so that I can have deep and meaningful conversation about musicality with my song writing friends), stand-by obituaries, letters, limericks, shopping lists etcetera.

Busy and exciting year ahead!



    (Lauren, try not to sound so eager. Be cool)...

    I mean, i think it's a decently alright idea, that i may or may not be interested in attending with you.

  2. I've just added Bird by Bird to my wish list. I've heard a lot about it, but haven't gotten around to picking up a copy. I wish you the best of luck with your novel. Sounds like you're ready to soar!

  3. Lauren! Yes!

    Thanks Melissa, looking forward to the developments. The book is really insightful and funny - hope you enjoy it!