Right after work this evening, I drove straight to a stranger's house. Seven of us sat around a dining room table, munching on queso, chips and gluten-free brownies, discussing our 'babies' - the collection of words we've poured our hearts into for longer than we want to remember.
Our babies range from picture book to young adult, all in their last drafts, but we each have the same goal: to get PUBLISHED. Tonight we vowed to help each other achieve that goal to the best of our critical ability, with honesty, bi-weekly meetings, and a maximum of five pages every two weeks submitted for critique to one another.
Five pages at a time. Five pages is nothing, and yet five plus five plus five, etc., eventually equals a whole book.
A whole book is overwhelming, but five pages is nothing. I can focus on five pages.
In Ann LaMott's book Bird by Bird, she says that's the advice her father gave her brother when he had procrastinated on a huge project and the idea overhwhelmed him. "Just take it bird by bird", he told him.
Bird by bird. Page by page. Piece by piece. Day by day. Minute by minute.
Good advice for writing.
Better advice for life.
And now for more sweet moments of my week...
Sunday: an unexpected, extra evening with your daughter before she heads back to college, spent watching "Willow"
Monday: a room full of twenty-something girls, welcoming your daughter back to campus; getting $7 for a box of old VHS movies; chilling on the porch with your husband, neighbor, a gang of dogs and a glass of wine
Tuesday: a morning call from your daughter on her way to her first class; a call from your oldest, just checking in
Wednesday: a respite from your cedar fever; an 'in-person' hug from your daughter; serendipity striking again, placing you next to a sweet, helpful, supportive new business contact at a meeting; winning the doorprize (a beautiful silver necklace!); another of your blog posts featured on Pioneer Woman's sidebar
Thursday: morning sunlight on the hills; playing the drums after a long silence; a ray of hope in what you thought was a hopeless situation
Friday: a prompt response from a Help Forum; sunshine and 70 degree temps in the middle of winter; your husband's French Toast
Saturday: blueberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream; putting your feet up and watching a movie with your sweetie after a long day
Sunday: a morning serenade, courtesy of the birds, frogs and running creek; a hug from a friend; happy customers; homemade flat bread pizza; clicking with your writing critique group; a wiggly puppy welcoming you home
Please share some of the sweet moments from your week! I really want to know!
And don't forget... if you're facing something that totally overwhelms you, just take it bird by bird...