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Monday, December 7, 2009
How Would Anne Lamott Get It Done?
Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, inspires me when I am about to get bogged down. In Bird by Bird, Lamott concentrates on encouraging writers who have trouble sustaining their momentum during big projects. The length of a novel or the complexity of an article for a major magazine often overwhelms the writer.
She suggests that you can complete almost any writing project by focusing on the task immediately before you. Then focus on the next task that contributes to the project. And so forth. Here's an analogy Lamott borrowed from E. L. Doctorow that I particularly like. You can drive hundreds of miles in the dark using headlights that illuminate only a few hundred feet of highway at a time. The same principle applies to writing. You may only be able to see your way to the end of the current paragraph, but that is enough. You will see the shape of the next paragraph when you finish the one you are writing now. That's enough to get you to the end of the chapter and to the end of the book.
My first love was reading, and my second love was writing. Deciding how to string words together fascinates me.
My interests and pursuits are wide ranging. I'm a self-employed educational entrepreneur and book packager. During my career I have worked as a consultant, professor, business owner, author and ghostwriter.