While in the bay area, I was lucky enough to do a writing workshop with the great Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions…)
Here are her 10 lessons on writing:
- Write badly for 20 min every day
- Nobody cares if you write another word. So YOU have to care
- Get a partner to read 4 pages every month. “A partner is like a birth coach.”
- Write what you love to come upon: Memoir? Fiction? Romance? Short stories?
- Tell the truth; all you have to do is change people’s heights and they’ll never recognize themselves
- Have a little sense of humor
- Wear out the voice of self-loathing by taking action
- Use a tape recorder/voice memo to get things down. If you can’t remember, start with holidays, and birthdays
- Blocked? You might be empty because you’re trying too hard. Take a break and fill up with other forms of creativity and inspiration
- Publication is not the lifelong seal of approval you have been craving. It’s not in publishing; the pay-off is in the writing.