Writer Envy

Recently, one of my blogging friends wrote a post about writer envy (check Rudin Press). She used Anne Lamott as an example of a writer who has a great way with words. This morning I finished Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instruction on Writing and Life. If you’ve never read anything by Lamott, I highly recommend that you put her on your list of authors to read.

I read her book, Traveling Mercies, several years ago and was enthralled by the way she puts together words and her honesty about her life. There were times when I thought what she wrote was inappropriate for public viewing. However, I think it’s just part of who she is. No secrets. She says in Bird by Bird that “good writing is about telling the truth…in an interesting way turns out to be about as easy and pleasurable as bathing a cat.”

I love the way she describes writer’s block, “where you sit staring at your blank page like a cadaver, feeling your mind congeal, feeling your talent run down your leg and into your sock.”

It’s no wonder that some of us suffer from writer envy. How many minds can come up with those accurate descriptions?

But Lamott also describes her angst when it comes to the written word, so perhaps I should just shut up and write.

2 thoughts on “Writer Envy

  1. Mary Ingmire says:

    Patti, I agree. The only way to become a better writer is to write. The very people we envy probably envy someone else.

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