This week I wrapping series called Chicken by Chicken. This is take on Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD, a helpful writing book. The idea is you take the writing journey one day at a time. You take it one word at time and that the important thing is always the writing and not the publishing. Writing for me is chicken by chicken. That's how I roll.
Write the words. Write the sentences. Write the paragraphs. Write the chapters. Write the books. This is the little mantra that keeps me going.
Here is the state of affairs: If measure myself to others, asking myself why haven't I sold books like x-y-z, I feel like a failure. If I examine my works, my current projects, my finished projects, focusing my eye on what has been done, I feel like I've come up short. If think about all the things I've missed out on, the times agents and editors have really thought about giving me a shot and decided not to, yep, my stomach starts aching. If I think about all that I've invested into writing with no return, I feel nauseous.
But if I just don't think about those things, and instead write. Now. In this moment. Today. The world opens to me. I forget that so many have found success faster than me. I forget the failures, the missed opportunities, etc. I feel so alive, like I'm stretching toward something far-reaching and rarefied. The words bubble like a fountain of water, just spilling out in an unending way. I go all century plant -- agave. It blooms once in its long life. I feel like that plant that is sure to bloom at the end of its long life. Perhaps, my determination to live in this moment, in these words, in this scene, will give the you the jolt you need to write today, chicken by chicken.
I'm so glad I'm travelling with you all. Here is something to check out if you have a minute. I love this bit of inspiration from Kate DiCamillo. I love her story. I understand what it means to be at the margin of society better than most. When Kate says, "You're a loser." I tear up every time. I hope that you will be kind to yourself this week. What you are doing now is important. Don't warp it with anything negative.
Next month I'm going to write about what rattles me about the written word. I will dig around in Edward Bulwer-Lytton's quote: "the pen is mightier that the sword" and offer advice to help you "set the world on fire." Meanwhile, everyone, seize the day!
Here is this week's doodle. I call it: "Wolverine Chicken."
Finally I'd like to add a quote for your pocket.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
Corrie Ten Boom