Saturday, January 23, 2010
Anne LaMott on Writing - My Chapter Seven -- DONE!
"Ever since I was a little kid, I've thought that there was something noble and mysterious about writing, about the people who could do it well, who could create a world as if they were little gods or sorcerers."
Yesterday I spent the day at the local coffee shop. Thursday, I did the same thing. Alleluiah! Yippee! Hooray! My Chapter Seven is done!!!
For many years I worked a day job. Each morning I rose at 6:30 a.m., showered, dressed, scarfed a cup of tea, walked Izzy, crated Izzy, then scooted off to work.
I would arrive at my desk promptly at 8:00 a.m. and dig eagerly into my pile of papers.
I would complete each task some days with gusto, some days with a growl.
But, I remember I worked one task at a time.
On occasion, my boss might assign a large project. I mean a HUGE GIGANTIC MONSTER request.
I once recall thinking I can't do this job. This guy is crazy. What does he think I am? A magician!!!
Until one day I changed my attitude. I told myself to think of it as a giant camel served on a giant platter, some giant large huge meal for me to eat. I said, "Linda, just eat this camel one bite at a time."
I began to not think about the big project.
I broke it down into teensy pieces. I said I would eat (complete) three pieces, then reward myself with a break for lunch. When I returned, I ate (completed) three pieces more. I didn't allow myself to review what I had eaten (completed). Not until I had eaten (completed) the entire camel (project.)
Then, and only then, did I go back over my work to check and recheck and polish what it was I had done.
Anyway, I have discovered by applying the same principles I just outlined above, same imaginative meal, same practice of discipline by getting out of bed and pretending to go to a day job, can I succeed at writing my book, er, eating my camel.
Is it hard work?
Burp. You betcha!
But, I am determined to eat my camel, if you know what I mean. One bite at a time. And write my book. It may take awhile. But, like the little train that chugged uphill, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it...And, I will.
Have a great writing day, Everyone. And just remember, if I can write a book, so can you.
Linda Della Donna
...And sometime when I wasn't looking, I got a new life.