Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I've got a brand new pair of roller skates...

Remember when you were a kid, and life was all about right now? You walked out the door with no plan, no agenda - whatever happened next was completely unknown to you, and that was the fun of it.

I'd forgotten about that, until I started reading Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. The book is about writing and life, but it's also about taking things small steps at a time, letting the characters show you what happens next. No-one sits down and pours out a full length novel in one shot.

The one thing that really jumped out at me is Anne's concept of the "one inch picture frame." As in, write only about what you can see through the frame. What a marvelous focus tool!

Bird By Bird has reminded me of the joy I once felt when I walked into my 7th grade English class and the teacher would say "Today, we write." She would give us a prompt, and then we'd scribble furiously for 20 minutes. The stories shared were what we saw through our respective tiny picture frames, but funnily enough, the views were panoramic.

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