impressions made from reading “Bird by Bird”

Over the last few days I’ve been reading Ann Lamott’s book Bird by Bird. I’ve read her stuff before, I even own a few other of her books, but this one means more to me because I’m trying really hard to write for publication. She has one remark that makes me wonder whether I’m really a writer. She said that aside from writing she’s unemployable. As an editor, doing publishing, who also writes, I envy those people who literally can’t do much else. They don’t have to worry about anyone else’s stuff but their own. They don’t have to worry about design, or marketing, or storage, or prices. They can just focus on the one thing and be good at it. I’m sure that much of my problem with writing is in the value that I can’t ascribe to it because I’m doing too many things all at the same time. Oh well, I’ll keep plugging away. Writing is itself its own reward. The fact that I don’t have to write to eat and feed my wife and children is a luxury. Maybe that luxury spares me the angst I need to be the best I can be. But I’d rather have a healthy, happy family than lose them in the pursuit of humanity’s next great written piece. Maybe that lack of hunger stands in the way of greatness. Frankly I don’t care.

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