People never seem to know what to do in the quiet.
This line from my current work-in-progress strikes me as emblematic of my current writing problem: My blog voice has been silent for a very long time. In the quiet of those weeks, then months stretching between posts, I had no idea what to write. Embarrassed by my failure to remain faithful to my self-promise to post once a month, I started pretending I didn’t have a blog at all. That became a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I’m not blogging, of course I have no blog.
As I often do when I find myself wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt, I turned to Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird. She tells a story about her brother who had three months to write a report on birds, but waited until the day before the report was due to start. Understandably overwhelmed by the task ahead of him, he sat staring at the books and paper in front of him, close to tears of despair.
Their wise father—a writer himself—put his arms around Lamott’s brother and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
That story speaks to me because I am a writer who loves birds. So I am going to get back into this blog thing bird by bird, post by post, and month by month.