Tag Archives: writing

Bird by Bird

I want to finish this thing, but I don’t want to write. Writing is hard and I am lazy.  I am ashamed of my laziness, and regret my wasted time. Then something clicks and I sit down to work. I pour through notes, I type, I scrap together a few thoughts that will hold up in a final draft. Soon, my block of time expires and I have to get my kid from her crib, make dinner, do laundry, whatever. I think about how hard I worked in that chunk of time and how little there is to show for it. There is still nothing I can send my committee.

Quotes from other writers have been helpful. They reinforce what I already know. Just sit down and do it. Just sit down and do it, already.  This one calmed me down this morning:

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
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