Oct 28, 2014

Taking Life "Bird by Bird"

October has come and (almost) gone, and I am marveling once again at how fast this month always flies by! It never fails—each October is always busier and more eventful than the previous October, but it continues to take me by surprise every year.

This month I am taking an in-depth online novel writing course, which has been wonderful and challenging and has really made me think through my current WIP. I am also participating in an online book study of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, working on a new set of revisions for two completed manuscripts, and preparing for a school visit this Friday. All of my writing synapses are zapping and snapping, and although my brain is starting to feel a bit fried, it is totally worth it! Add to all of this the sleepover with nine 11- and 12-year-old boys to celebrate my twins' 12th birthday last weekend and our family camping trip past weekend (with the resulting piles of laundry), and my plate is definitely overflowing! Every single one of these things is good, though, and for this I am thankful.

Which brings me back to Bird by Bird. In the midst of all of this “busyness,” Lamott’s whole concept of tackling one thing at a time calms me and reminds me to slow down, breathe, and focus on climbing one step, and then another, and then another. Viewed from this perspective, everything seems much more manageable and I can breathe (and sleep) much easier. I also really appreciated a quote from E. L. Doctorow that Lamott shares in an early chapter of her book: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” This is a wonderful notion, and can be applied to LIFE, as well.

One of the peaceful scenes I enjoyed this past weekend near Brevard, NC.

I hope your October has been just as inspiring and exhilarating as mine! Have a great week, and happy writing!


  1. Becky,
    Congratulations on all the writing-related projects you undertook for October. I have a feeling you might tackle some in November too. This is a busy time of year, but busy people always seem to accomplish things they really want to do. I'm glad you rearranged things so you'd have time for birthdays and camping and other family fun.

  2. I have heard so much about Anne Lamott's book- and never a bad word. I really need this pick this chickie up. ;)

  3. Looking forward to seeing the results of all this zapping and snapping! :-)

  4. Dear Becky,
    Thanks for sharing about your learning projects and how much you've enjoyed Bird by Bird. It's a great idea to focus on one thing at a time. It does give you calming energy, So glad you and your boys had such a good time camping out for their birthday celebration.

    These are the days!
    Celebrate now.
    Never Give UP

  5. Great post:) I'll wait to read more from you :)


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