The second period has now starter and one of my new support groups is writing in general. Last week was the opening week of this support group. It started with the first group session where we once again introduced ourselves and agreed about deadlines and other working methods. During that week, our task was to read a short section of Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird and watch a video clip of TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi’s Adichie. Then we had a few options to choose which kind of text we wanted to write. I chose to write a little reflection/reaction to Anne Lamott’s text I had read. You can find it from below:
“Shitty First Drafts”
I just read an extract from Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird and was quite impressed about it. Lamott is an American author, who has written many popular novels of the end of the last century and the beginning of the current one. She has also worked as a reviewer for a few magazines, criticizing food and books. In the particular book, she talks about writing in general, writing habits and how you should manage your writing process. The headline tells it all.
In the book, Lamott explains how important it is to get rid of those inhibitions that are blocking your mind while writing. We all know that the hardest part of the writing process is to get started. I am sure there have been times when you were just staring at the plank paper, mind jammed and felt the anxiety growing inside you. But what Lamott is trying to say is just start typing. What ever comes to your mind, write it down. Do not think, just keep going. It does not matter how shitty the text is, the most important thing is to have something to work with. In the quotation, Lamott highlights that the first draft is just a work in process, no one will ever read it. So don’t be afraid, from that crap can always rise something phenomenal.
I can see why this Anne Lamott’s book is so famous. When as important message as above is written in so gripping way, you just can’t stop reading. The language Lamott uses in her text is playful and witty, it clearly shows her former experience as a reviewer. With all those incisive phrases and comments, she manages to create an entertaining peace of work that also conveys the message. Those stories Lamott tells about her own writing habits and processes are for sure highly relatable for many readers, including myself. But it tells that we are only humans. It does not matter if you are an author or just an ordinary human being, we all experience the same feelings. No successful author “sits down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars”. They also have their own struggles and insecurities. Therefore as an outcome, can be said that all of us should be more merciful, not just towards others but ourselves too.
ALMS hours spent: 3,5h
ALMS hours remaining: 56h