I’ve always thought of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird as her best book, the one with most advice to offer anyone who’s at any stage of writing anything, ever.
During the process of trying to find an agent, which I began about a month ago, I’ve been reading it therapeutically — opening to a page at random and seeing what message Anne has for me, the way I’ve heard people do with a Bible.
Here was what I found today:
… I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do — the actual act of writing — turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony.
So, I thought, maybe it’s time for do a different kind of writing in a place where people can see it, on semi-professional website. A place where I can just write.
I’m listening to Anne on the topic of the myth of publication — but I’m not looking for fame and fortune or self-fulfillment. I don’t even need to make a living writing fiction. I’d just really love for people to read my story. I think they might like it. I think I would love talking to them about it. And I’d really, really like to publish this book.