Many years ago I read a book called Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I learned a lot from that book, and there was one story in particular that has inspired me. Here it is:
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness at the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
I love this story, and whenever I start feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by my list of things to do, I remind myself, “Bird by Bird,” which always brings a smile and some much-needed perspective. Thank you Anne Lamott!