Let me just preface this post with one little fact: I don't mind writing. I actually think I could grow to like, maybe even love it if I spend more time actually sitting in front of my computer and typing away. However, I find it daunting, overwhelming, and frightening. That's why I am loving the book I'm currently reading, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She has broken down the process of writing into manageable steps! Who knew! I'm still overwhelmed with the amount of things I can write about, but at least I know where to start. Throughout the next few weeks I'll be sharing thoughts on my readings and samples of my writing. Comments and criticisms (be nice) are always appreciated, so fire away!
One thing that jumped out at me as I read, was this quote in the chapter entitled Perfectionism: "Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground." This will be my new motto! Now, I'll admit that I like this quote out of context because I tend to be slightly on the messy side... Ok, I practically rule the messy side. But I like my life that way! And Lamott has made me feel proud of my messiness! Even if the clutter she references probably isn't the same type of clutter that clogs my nightstand, computer desk, closet, and bookshelf, I think both ideas are distant cousins. I know I'm a cluttered writer. Although I rarely save drafts of pieces I've written, I know that they tend to branch off in multiple directions, often losing focus and purpose until I go back through and weed through the bits and pieces that suffocate the really good parts.
Lamott also instructs writers to write small assignments. She encourages writers to get through the inevitable writer's block by just writing one paragraph, one paragraph of dialogue, or one setting description, for example. I'm going to try this daily. Knowing me, I'll probably end up with more than one paragraph on most days. Even if what I write will probably end up as a "shitty first draft" as Lamott calls it, I'm ok with that.
So from now on, I'm going to live by my new motto and embrace my clutter! I'm going to get all of my thoughts out and weed through them later. Chances are, somewhere within all of the junk, there will be a small gem waiting to be polished.