Anne Lamott is an idol of mine. This from her book on writing, Bird by Bird, says it all:
Close your eyes and get quiet for a minute, until the chatter starts up. Then isolate one of the voices and imagine the person speaking is a mouse. Pick it up by the tail and drop it into a mason jar. Then isolate another voice, pick it up by the tail, drop it in the jar. And so on……..Then put the lid on, and watch all these mouse people clawing at the glass……Then imagine there is a volume-control button on the bottle. Turn it all the way up for a minute, listen to the stream of angry, neglected, guilt-mongering voices. Then turn it all the way down and watch the frantic mice lunge at the glass, trying to get to you.
There are a lot of reasons not to write. There is really only one good reason to write, and that is because for some of us it is life. It is voice. It’s a long road, finding and honoring that voice. Maybe writing isn’t your thing, but you have a mode of expression that is vital to who you are. Just remember, they’re just mice.
Tighten that jar.
4 thoughts on “Chatter”
That is my favorite “how to write” book.
As for WordPress, I love it. Be forewarned though, running WordPress on your own domain is trickier. And, btw, does this mean you’re going to post more often?
Connie, I am so happy to connect with you on WordPress! You and http://www.wvfurandroot.wordpress.com are the reason I decided to make many of the changes to Esse Diem that I did. You are my complete inspiration, but more on that in an actual post later. 🙂
Would love to be in touch about the “trickier-ness” of the domain issue. I considered not getting my own domain due to the hassles, expense, etc. but realized that “owning” the blog had become part of my commitment issues to posting. So YES, more posting! I’m really please so far with how WordPress let’s one organize what she wants to do.
I love Anne Lamott. I got to hear her speak at University of Richmond not too long ago. She’s great about shitty first drafts! (This isn’t a PG blog is it?)
Katharine, Lamott is truly wonderful to me as well. She’s so honest and fearless in her self-expression. She inspires me.