Bird by Bird
Some Instructions on Writing and LifeBook - 1995
From the critics
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"If you're not enough before the gold medal, you won't be enough with it."
"Toni Morrison said, 'The function of freedom is to free someone else,' and if you are no longer wracked or in bondage to a person or a way of life, tell your story. Risk freeing someone else."
"Having a baby's like suddenly getting the world's worst roommate, like having Janis Joplin with a bad hangover and PMS come to stay with you."
"E.L. Doctorow once said that 'writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard."
Now it might be that your God is an uptight, judgmental perfectionist, sort of like Bob Dole or, for that matter, me. But a preist friend of mine has cautioned me away from the standard God of our childhoods, who loves and guides you and then, if you are bad, roasts you; God as a high school principal in a gray suit who never remembered your name but is always leafing unhappily through your files. If this is your God, maybe you need to blend in the influence of someone who is ever so slightly more amused by you, someone less anal. David Byrne is good, for instance. Grace allen is good. Mr. Rogers will work.
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