Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just do it.

"One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates out to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around." Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird.

Anne Lamott by Brent Ward

Not that long ago, I shared with you this book and a story of taking things slowly, piece by piece, until you reach the final end point. This is how I write and that's in large part due to that very story.

In her infinite wisdom, Lamott also expresses this quote above. It hits home with me because it's exactly one of my favorite reasons that I am a writer. I can't sit back on the sidelines and watch life go by. I have to be in it, right smack in the middle, exploring and prodding and questioning and doubting and wondering.

I get to go out and do things, even sometimes things i never would have done before. I'll go see a speaker I normally wouldn't so I can report of it. I'll watch a movie I never would have thought twice about as research for a story. I'll walk into a bookstore and pick up something totally different just to see what else is out there.

One of my favorite writing related outings is the theatre. Not that I need an excuse because I love the theatre and honestly don't get there enough. Aside from the book reviews, though, I write theatre reviews as well. Actually when I started reviewing theatre was my first go at it. (Clearly I took to the writing style.)  I get to see all different kinds of theatre: some good, some bad, some I never would have chosen to see on my own will and some I've been dying to see. Then not only do I get to be out there in the world taking part, but I get to come back and analyze. Figure out why that particular show worked or didn't. What made me connect to a certain character or what turned me off from another. It's the same with book reviews. Reading the book isn't quite as out there, but I get to delve into it after and share with all of you.

Everything I do, I try and absorb fully. When I go out in in the city be it to a museum, the park, the beach or even a class I'm teaching, I try to fully participate in what's going on around and within me. Even if I'm not directly writing about what I'm doing, I can always use it for inspiration for a later article or blog post.

I appreciate the quote from Lamott because it's always nice to hear that people feel that way you do. Lamott was able to express exactly my feelings and and one of the greatest parts of being a writer.

Now I turn it to you: Make it out a point to do out and do. Whatever it is, take it all in and think it over. Appreciate the experience and maybe even try your hand at writing your thoughts about it!

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