Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Inspirations - Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott

This chapter of Bird by Bird gives us the story of the title of the book. And that's an important thing for a writer to remember. There are times when I get myself bogged down thinking things like I need 20,000 more words or I need 6 more chapters and so I dither. The answer to this is to think in small units.

I can write a paragraph and when that's done I can write another one and suddenly I have a scene and this becomes a chapter. Taking a story bit by bit is a good way to keep from feeling pressured by yourself. Of course sometimes the floodgates open and words pour out. There's nothing wrong with this either.

One thing I tell new writers and that's to write every day even if it's only a paragraph. At the end of the week maybe you'll only have seven paragraphs but chances are the next week the writer can produce two a day. Suddenly they have a whole page and do a page a day. This comes to 365 pages a year and many books are that length.

The moral of this chapter in Bird By Bird is to think in small units and the large unit will happen.

1 comment:

Allie Boniface said...

This is such a good way to think about it - a page a day, perfect! Not really too much to aim for :)