For a long while, I’ve said that I was going to write a book. It has always been the thing I could do if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to actually try because DUH then I would actually have to prove that I could do the thing I so nonchalantly knew I could do. Makes sense, right? See also “fear of failure” and “you can’t fail if you don’t have a plan” and you’ll be downright cozy with some of my life mantras. But early this year, a friend of mine said, “You know, you’ve been mentioning a lot lately things you would put in the book you are going to write. I think you should really do it.”
And with that, I was inspired to actually put pen to paper (and words to word processor) and see once and for all if I really COULD do it! I was instantly filled with confidence and joy, which was swiftly followed by panic and self-doubt. So, I set out to do what I always do when I’m stalling making a change or a big decision in my life: I began questing for resources I could read and ponder so as to avoid the one thing you absolutely have to do if you are going to write a book: actually write the book.
In March I had the opportunity to join a writers group with other budding writers, and the person hosting the group, a published author, pretty quickly recommended Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird as the quintissential book on writing, and just about anyone else I’ve asked for advice has said the same thing. I was quick to pick it up but slow to read it (because duh, then I would have to do some writing) and I know it has made a lasting impression on me. I have more pages bookmarked in this book then maybe anything else I’ve read. It’s a great book about writing, the writing process, and being a writer, but even more than that it’s just a really good book. If you have any interest in writing, or really any interest in starting any pursuit, this book is a must read.