Sodaro's Stories

June 15, 2013

Bird by Bird…again

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I don’t know how many times Bird by Bird by Anne Lammott has helped me in my writing…heck, I don’t know how many times I have recommended the book or written about the book or blogged about the book…but it has completely changed my life and come to my rescue. I would recommend it to every writer, every person rebuilding a car, every person falling in love, finishing a degree…basically anyone who is doing something which could overwhelm them and cause them to give up…so everyone.
The premise of the book is to not think “Today I am going to write an entire novel…rebuild a car bumper to bumper…entirely open my heart…start and finish my degree, etc.” That’s too much — you will be freaked out before you even begin. It’s too big. NO one can do all of that in one day…it’s rumored that even Rome took a minute to build.
Instead, you think in terms of one aspect of the project, one bite of the sandwich, one bird in the plethora of birds. Today…I am going to write 6 pages. Breathe in, breathe out — this is do-able. Then piece by piece and day by day, your 6 pages becomes 12 then 18, then 24, etc. Next thing you know you have 2 published novels and 5 completed first drafts. You are writing every day and you don’t even think anything of writing 6 pages…in fact some days you double it. You have taken the pressure off.
I get overwhelmed by the weight I want to lose. I get overwhelmed by thinking “I want to lose X number of pounds”…this doesn’t change the fact that I need to…just makes it easier to make excuses not to do so. But the same logic applies. I don’t have to (nor could I) lose X number of pounds today…today, I need to go for a walk. Today I need to drink one extra bottle of water.
Writing every day has become an ingrained habit. Walking more needs to become the same. Bird by bird. I have an island to get ready for.


  1. THANKS for posting this! Bird by Bird is a classic. Annie Lamott is truly a genius. Along with Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron, Lamott has saved my life a billion times too. Living bird by bird and moment by moment isn’t easy but if I just try to get a little done each day, huge things will happen. Anyway, love this post and I needed to hear it today.

    Comment by seanpaulmahoney — June 15, 2013 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

    • Love all three of the authors you mentioned. And I needed this reminder, as I often do,as well!!

      Comment by michelle sodaro — June 15, 2013 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

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