Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird is a book every aspiring writer should read.  Not that it has all the answers but it sure makes you think.  Every blogger is a writer so this book is for all of us.  It dates back to 1994 so pre-dates social media.

Among the many things to enjoy in this book I share with you an exercise that the author uses to escape all the warring voices in your head making it difficult to write.

'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 as 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.  Drop in any high-maintenance parental units, drop in any contractors, lawyers, colleagues, children, anyone who is whining in your head.  Then put the lid on, and watch all these mouse people clawing at the glass, jabbering away, trying to make you feel like shit because you won't do what they want – won't give them more money, won't be more successful, won't see them more often.  Then imagine that there is a volume-control button on the bottle.  Turn it all the way up for a minute, and 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.  Leave it down, and get back to your [writing].'

Hope you find this helpful, or at least amusing. 


  1. I've heard of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, but have never read it. I liked the exercise you shared and loved the imagery. :-)

  2. I read this book several years ago and found it very interesting.

  3. Carole - thank you! I needed to read this today.

  4. Very amusing! :D Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love this book! I have read it many times, especially when I am feeling blocked.


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