Posted by: mlawrencekey | July 10, 2008

Bird by Bird

Once more, I’ve got a large project in front of me, and I’m pulling out the wonderful advice of one of my mentors and doing it “bird by bird.” In Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird,” (one of my all-time favorite writing books, by the way), she mentions her brother having to do a large science report which involved him writing paragraphs on dozens of bird species. He procrastinated on the report and ended up at a table a day or two before it was due, all of the information spread out around him, in panic and tears. And then his father came up to him, patted his shoulder, and said, “Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Bird by bird.”

And that’s the way I’m doing this. I’ve got reams of information, and thousands of words ahead of me to write. But I can’t think about that, or I’ll hyperventilate. I’ve just got to take the single paragraph in front of me, the single sentence.

And do it all bird by bird.



  1. Go you!

    and I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what on earth is the image in this post? It makes me feel all swirly-eyed looking at it. Which is kinda cool. Hypnotic even. But I still don’t know what the heck it is.

  2. It’s a tessellation of loons. I pulled it off the web from somewhere. In case you didn’t study it in geometry class, a tessellation is a series of interlocking shapes, all exactly the same. It actually can be quite complex, mathematically speaking.

  3. that might explain why I felt like a loon while staring at it! (giggle)

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