Friday, April 30, 2010

Writing in Chaos

I went to listen to National Bestselling Author Anne Lamott Thursday night and she had a special message about grace and finding it in three places where you would least expect it. She talked about the three moments in her life where grace found her. The first when her son became a father, the second when she was in India in the fog and the last was an ordinary moment of chaos.

I haven’t read any of Anne’s books, yet! I purchased Bird By Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life. I hadn’t really planned on going until a friend insisted on making it “Writer’s Night Out” for our critique group. Usually we are relegated to an afternoon of reading each other’s work while kids are in school and our husbands are at work. It was the best suggestion! It was a moment of grace, according to Anne Lamott. I’m not sure about the grace part but it was a great evening for friends to laugh, think and enjoy each other’s company. No written words were needed. Just a love of the written word and knowing that writing is a part of each of us. It just is. With all the chaos in our lives, the big decisions that need to be made and all the things we do for our family, there is a part of us that has to write, that burns inside until we put words to the paper. It isn’t something we can control, it just is. At the end, Anne challenged each of us if we felt that burn to give up the news each night and write. We can always catch a recap the next morning. It’s true. Each of my friends knew it, have known it because we are writing books with chaos all around. We’ve talked about stopping because of the pressure of everything else and it is just that, talk. It is a part of who we are.

So as Anne challenged us last night, I challenge you. Pick up the pencil, the pen, the keyboard and start banging out the words. It doesn’t matter if they make sense or not. They are yours. With Anne’s inspiration, I also developed a tag line that I plan to end every blog with starting today . . . Don’t forget to write!


  1. A great summary of her presentation. Keep writing WS.

  2. I believe the third place was with her son's friend who was into drugs....I like how you picked up on the "have to write" and "just do it." I can't imagine having a family and trying to write novels too. Write on!

  3. I believe the third moment of grace is when she had been skiing and was in a room "for people like you" and felt fresh air through a small crack in the wall. . .