Anne Lamott: Overcoming the Voice of Self-Doubt

Anne Lamott speaking at #CONFABMN
Anne Lamott shares her wisdom on slowing down, paying attention, and just doing.

  • All writers have the same problem: their minds
  • We’re all here, trying to communicate important, complex, human things
  • Every day, you gotta “do your scales” – sit down, practice the “mundane”, just do it – that’s how you get to play Mozart, Chopin
  • “I don’t believe in inspiration” – waiting to write until you’re inspired can be an excuse
  • You figure out how to do stuff by doing it – you take the action
    • “Take the action and insight follows”
  • Listen. Take things in. And take notes. Don’t just write down what people say. Write how they say it.
    • “I write down everything I love.”
  • When you write, even if it’s too much or not that great, it’s still something.
    • “I will have six pages that didn’t exist before that.”
  • We need to try things. And fail. And try again. And fail again. And try better. Fail better.
  • Your most important spiritual practice is to be where your butt is.
  • A B+ is a fantastic grade.
  • Half of creativity is taking stuff out.
  • On drafts
    • First one: child’s draft (SFD!)
    • Second one: adult’s draft (better)
    • Third one: dental draft (get in the weeds, wiggle each detail, fine-tune what needs to be stronger and what needs less polish)
  • Pay attention. Breathe.
  • Share your story. It’s good enough.
  • Perfection is the voice of the oppressor.
  • “Make more messes.”

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