my desk.

my desk.

So, I organized my desk.  And put up a new shelf.  Obviously, this chapter is just going to write itself now.  Oh lordy, fellow dissertation writers out there, it’s time for a little Anne Lamott methinks.  Bird by Bird makes everything better.

“Your day’s work might turn out to have been a mess.  So what?  Vonnegut said, ‘When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth.’  So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes.  Use up lots of paper.  Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.  What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here–and by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.”  (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (New York: Anchor Books, 1994) 32).

Can I get an amen?

Seriously, I’m no evangelist but this book has gotten me through more writing crises than I care to count.  It’s my everything’s-going-to-be-okay talisman. 


6 thoughts on “my desk.

  1. Me thinks I’m going to have to get a copy of Bird by Bird. Could have used it several times by now.

    Good luck with the lastest chapter and keep an organized desk.

  2. queen of the shitty first draft. i’ve read that, but not the book. maybe i need a copy? and i cleaned my desk yesterday too. (but now i’m on the couch, grading with Boh.) maybe a mini-writing/working group is in order, if only for motivation’s sake?

  3. I love Lamott; she writes like she’s talking to you, or thinking out loud. I have all of her stuff and reread her often. And I totally understand the need to rearrange your desk as a warmup; trust me, you were doing some prewriting in your head as you did that! Good luck!

  4. Unfortunately my copy is in a box somewhere from my last move a year or so ago… I wish she’d written a book called “Box by Box”…
    I really appreciate your comments and wit.

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