bird by bird


It’s the second week for Professional Amateur, my creative side project. Welcome back.

This space was not intended for a navel-gazing list-writing kitten-adoring food-loving mommy writer but in just one week I’ve already shared some of Scotland’s culinary wonders and my honest thoughts on motherhood. There’s even a list. I fear failure is imminent but so be it. The road to my goals is paved with disciplined writing so I will soldier on and write about whatever stirs me.

I spent a portion of the weekend reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. Her advice to aspiring writers is to venture inward and start by reflecting on childhood. “Plug your nose and jump in and write down all your memories as truthfully as you can,” she says. If I were to take Anne’s direction, I could write a coffee table book centered on yours truly. There are a dozen journals stored away in my parents’ home dying to be published or at least put to use for inspiration.

My stories would be fantastic. I choose the word “fantastic” for both its definitions. My stories would be tremendous and fun to read but likely unintentionally remote from reality, slightly inaccurate. My memory is pathetic these days. I fear my recollections would be littered with benign untruths and I would come off as a pathological liar.

Take for example this conversation. Initially, I recorded that it took place last Monday. After connecting with my friend, however, she pointed out that the Seahawks hadn’t lost the Superbowl yet and we actually spoke on Saturday. Really? Did motherhood rob me of so many brain cells that I can’t even get simple details right? Apparently the answer is yes.

My last official job title was Digital Content Storyteller. No joke. At the time I signed my contract, it seemed ridiculous. I predicted I’d be lying (or “taking creative liberties”) on my next resume to make it sound like I was actually employed by a reputable company. Now I think the title fits perfectly. Storyteller it is.

With this in mind, you can bet I’ll be sharing lots of stories. I’m aware that many of you don’t know me well. You don’t know about the time I rushed the stage like a hysterical pre-teen when Justin Timberlake made a cameo at a Black Eyed Peas concert at Richard’s on Richards. (The photographic evidence is also stored at my parents’ house so you’ll just have to trust me.) You don’t know about the disgusting electric blue leopard-print hooded leotard I was forced to wear for a dance competition as a teenager. (For some reason that evidence emmigrated to Scotland so it’s only a matter of time before it hits the web.) You don’t know about the seasons of depression I’ve waded through; you don’t know about my struggles with God or my failures at work. You just don’t know.

But soon you will.

I will tell you my stories one by one, or bird by bird, just like Anne Lamott suggests. Some stories will involve food and motherhood – maybe even lists about what to feed your toddler – but you can rest assured. There will be no kittens. Hopefully, we will still be friends.

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