Level Up! Blogfest post is below.
Welcome to the first discussion post of the Progressive Book Club, hosted by M.L. Swift. This month’s selection, Bird by Bird written by Anne Lamott.I really enjoyed the book. It was funny and entertaining. I forgot it was supposed to be educational.
What I took away from this book was a deeper understanding of why I love to write. It reminded me, although being a writer can be frustrating and isolating and at times boring, there is nothing like the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual feeling you get from writing.
Here are the top 10 lessons I learned from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott:
- Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life. – It gave me a life.
- Do it every day for a while. – I struggle with this the most.
- The actual act of writing turns out to be the best part. – If I could remember how it feels all the time, I would no longer have a problem with #2.
- When my writer friends are working, they feel better and more alive than they do at any other time. – Again, that physical, emotional, mental & spiritual things I talked about before.
- You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side. – Writing taught me who I am and who I am, is ok.
- Write an incredibly shitty, self-indulgent, whinny, mewling first draft. Then take out as many of the excesses as you can. – Turning off and the edit button is hard and even harder to turn it back on.
- Characters: it takes time for you to know them, you need to find out as much as possible about the interior life of the people you are working with, you are going to hate some of your characters, you are probably going to have to let bad things happen to some of the characters you love, plot grows out of character, the better you know them the more you’ll see things from their point of view, you have to get things quiet in your head so you can hear them and let them guide your story. – My favorite section of the book. I love the purposeful task of creating a good character.
- The development of relationships creates plot. – You create some much for the reader if you focus on the relationships in your WIP.
- Dialogue: listening, observing, storing things away, making your isolation pay off, each one must sound different, gives us the sense that we are eavesdropping, is the way to nail character. – Eavesdropping is the key.
- Jealousy is the business of comparing my insides to other people’s outsides. – I put this one on my inspiration board. It is so true. Not a fair comparison, so stop doing it.
Which piece of advice do you identify with most?