About a year ago, just before I began blogging, I sent a piece I’d written about my daughter to Leon, my brother-in-law. Until very recently, Leon worked as an editor and writer for several large newspapers and while I’d been somewhat reluctant to show him anything I’d written, on some level I think I needed a little feedback as to whether my writing might appeal or be good enough to interest anyone other than myself. I must admit that I was a bit worried about my punctuation and grammar when I sent my essay off to him. I tend to get what MJ O’Shea, one of my writing instructors at Oswego State University referred to as “comma happy” when I write and I was a bit concerned this might be the only thing he would notice when reading my words.
I cannot tell you how delighted I was by the magic of his words when he wrote back and said, ” Elizabeth, that’s REALLY good. That’s Bird by Bird good. It’s the kind of writing I strive for.” With words of encouragement like that to boost me, I pressed publish for the first time on June 27, 2008 and never looked back.
In Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life she addresses the fears and frustrations of would be writers and acts as a guide for those of us who are intent on having our say. With her direction and encouragement, she teaches you how to break down the storytelling process into manageable parts by focusing on what is honest and real about the story rather than the results.
Delivering good readable writing that touches the reader in some way is part of my goal in writing what I do. To have someone I respect tell me what Leon did that day about a story I wrote totally from my heart…well that’s almost as good as standing in front of America with my Oscar in hand saying, “I’d like to thank….”
I was extremely delighted a few weeks ago, when I received an email from Diane Hayman, who is Editor-in-Chief of Powder Room Graffiti. It seems after leaving a comment on a post there by Expat Mum, Toni Summers Hargis, a blogger and author that I read regularly, Diane noticed my comment and popped over to Gifts Of The Journey for a look around. The result of which led to her kind request asking if I might like to be interviewed for Powder Room Graffiti.
My interview can be found here…revealing a few more secrets you may not have known about me. Thanks to Diane and the folks at PRG for their interest and thanks to those of you who keep coming back to Gifts Of The Journey.