Found on “MY PICKS”
For Writers: Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by: Anne Lamott
Sometimes a little too frank, Anne Lamott will tell it like it is in life for a struggling author or author to be. This book gave me so much freedom in my pursuit of writing. I’ve reread it and sections of it several times. I was able to identify with her in so many points. Here’s a few:
1. You don’t have to know the whole story before you write it.
It seems to me that the freedom to follow your character opens up so many different possible outcomes, to keep your mind set on what you’ve drafted before you dive into your character now seems unreasonable. Before if I were to get sidetracked, I thought I’d failed and would give up and go on to something new. Not now, I allow myself to follow a character and see what happens. As Anne mentions in her book, if you mess up, that’s what the delete button is for but a better thought would be to copy and paste what’s not working for the salvage yard of ideas.
2. You’re not really failing if you have to rewrite.
This has been my greatest obstacle to overcome. I would give up writing my story before I finished because it wasn’t working. Now if it doesn’t work, I close shop for the day and come back with fresh eyes the next day. I’ve given myself permission to fail, because I know failing is part of life. You just have to make up your mind that failure will not stop you, it will help you to learn and be better. I have a quote by Thomas A. Edison on my computer that I read everyday to remind myself, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Like I said, I give myself permission to fail, but to never give up.
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