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Essential writing advice from Anne Lamott

TED distilled fourteen writing tips from an interview conducted with novelist Anne Lamott. Her 1995 book Bird by Bird (Amazon) has become an essential guide for aspiring artists of all types.

My favorite snippet from the interview appears when she’s asked to give her younger self some writing advice:

“I’d teach my younger self to stare off into space more often. I would tell her to waste more paper. I would tell her she doesn’t need to stick to a decision; she can change her mind.”

Anne Lamott

Daydream. Plan unscheduled time. Get messy! There is no such thing as the perfect time to start anything. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “This ‘Wait!’ has almost always meant ‘Never.'”

The vocation chooses you. Do the work in despite the resistance.

Read 14 writing tips, from beloved teacher Anne Lamott

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E.L. Doctorow once said that “writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard.

— Anne Lamott

(via kadrey)

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.

Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.

Anne Lamott

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).