Bird by Bird

During all my composition lessons in graduate school, one of the few concrete pieces of advice I can recall is being told by composer James Primosch that I should read Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird.  Now, more than ten years later (I wonder if my advice taking might speed up with age?), I’m making my way through the book.  It’s brilliant!  Here I am coming across what I recalled Jim telling me about having to write a “shitty first draft” and Lamott’s recollection of John Gardner comparing writing to creating a dream and how “the dream must be vivid and continuous.”  What a perfect description of how I myself view creative work, whether written, visual, or aural!  It’s always interesting to me to note the overlap, almost never literal, but quite often completely clear, between the creative process of different artistic pursuits.  This is the kind of discussion that comes out over dinner (and drinks) at artist colonies.  Just a quarter way through this book, I now have fodder for a few more questions, discussions, and arguments with my fellow creative-types.  I wonder what dream I’ll dream up next?  

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