When someone asks how we’re doing, I answer, “We’re taking it day by day.”
But what I really want to say is, “We’re taking it bird by bird.”
My second answer is a reference to what is considered a classic writing book, Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
I’ve read this book in the past, but now seemed like a perfect time to take it off my bookshelf and re-read it.
While it’s especially valuable for writers, I do believe much of the book can be applied to readers and artists in general.
During these challenging, scary, unchartered times here are some words from Bird By Bird that I hope help get you through your day-by-day.
– “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.”
– “If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, this is how you spend your days – listening, observing, storing things away, making your isolation pay off.”
– “I honestly think in order to be a writer, you have to learn to be reverent. If not, why are you writing? Why are you here? Let’s think of reverence as awe, as presence in and openness to the world.”
– “My deepest belief is that to live as if we’re dying can set us free. Dying people teach you to pay attention and to forgive and not to sweat the small things.”
– “To live as if we are dying gives us a chance to experience some real presence. Time is so full for people who are dying in a conscious way, full in the way that life is for children.”
– “Don’t be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done.”
– “Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.”