ORIGIN early 17th cent.: via French from Italian gazzetta, originally gazeta de la novità (because the news-sheet sold for a gazeta, a Venetian coin of small value)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Madness

The month of March has flown by. When I think back and wonder what I have accomplished, nothing comes to mind. I had hoped to write a blogpost per week, but there you have it - my first one is on the last day of of the month! A busy end of the teaching trimester, a few translation projects taking up my out-of-school time, and the three stories I'm working that seem to be going nowhere in spite of continued efforts... and March is gone. Through it all, the tug of the writing life refuses to leave me! The good news is that I've had a companion during this crazy month, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, and this small volume has helped me get through what has turned out to be an uneven season. Introduced to me by Marlys Hershey - a woman I've yet to meet in the flesh - Bird by Bird is a meaty, chewy, main-course kind of book. It continues to nourish my soul and is proving to be truly inspirational with respect to the writing life. This book tastes good. Its smells earthy. It speaks volumes to me. It touches my spirit. It enlightens my obscurity and offers vision. A five-senses-kind-of-book! As I now read it for a second and third time, I am taking note of how I can implement some its lesson on life and writing.
The book is witty and real. It's gritty and down to earth. It's unsentimental and practical. Anne Lamott says over and over again that the writing life is a life of discipline, yet she encourages writers to be not so hard on themselves. OK, Anne, I'll try to follow that advice. Writers who feel discouraged? Well, that's alright: it's part of the human experience. This book has been my March experience - the end of winter and the beginning of spring - so I guess things haven't been so bad after all. Besides, tomorrow is the beginning of National Poetry Month, so things are definitely lookin' up!