will someone please get me OUT of food service?

21 Jul

i am reading Ann Lamott’s, bird by bird…again. it is fabulous. even more exciting is that she is a local author (in my neck of the woods anyway). if you haven’t read this or any of her other work, do so immediately!

i am reading it partially to psyche myself up for NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) and partially because i have been writing and making books pretty much since i understood the concept of stapling together a pile of paper and filling it up with words and pictures.

however, i work in food service. ergo, the plea: will someone please get me OUT of food service? short backstory: i worked in a grocery store out of highschool. quit, fed up with how ridiculous it was and decided to go to college. graduated, got a “real” job…teaching preschool for three years and then? exhausted by children, got back into food service.

it’s a vortex. food is nice. money is nice. customers create fodder. i want to write. all i want to do is write. and sometimes i feel resentful that this job is taking up my writing time. and sometimes i feel thankful and know that my time outside of my paying gig is precious and choose to use it for literary betterment.

in bird by bird, Ann says that her father (also a writer) advised the following:

“Do it every day for a while,” my father kept saying. “Do it as you would do scales on the piano. Do it by prearrangement with yourself. Do it as a debt of honor. And make a commitment to finishing things.”  –Ann Lamott, bird by bird

like how i call her “Ann” like we are on a first name basis and have freaking coffee and cannolis together or something? that would be cool. anyhow, i have to write to write, right? so i am taking the sage advice of someone else’s father. arranging with myself and finishing. another stipulation? fiction. i am practicing fiction. i shy away from it because of that i suck voice that sometimes happens. but i made a promise to myself on my birthday not long ago that this year i will fulfill goals and dreams by following through and working for what i want. also, i ran across this:

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”   –Lao Tzu

yikes! mayday! mayday!

and so i commit. and so i write. day by day. bird by bird. thanks Ann. coffee and cannolis sometime?


6 Responses to “will someone please get me OUT of food service?”

  1. gonecycling July 23, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    Know exactly where you’re coming from. I’m in the creative equivalent of food service (writing ad copy) and want to GET OUT and do some REAL WRITING but that ‘I suck’ voice really gets around and it’s in my head too. As Ann’s father advises, I’m doing something every day for a while (a poem per stage of the Tour de France) and it’s hard, but I’m determined to finish. And you’re not alone in shying away from fiction: I so want to do it, but I’m too scared to commit. I guess NaNoWriMo will kill or cure. Bon courage, as the French say.

    • heatherfrendo July 23, 2010 at 8:14 am #

      ah, yes…the legendary ‘i suck’ voice. right on with your resolve to write poetry each day throughout Tour de France! so, so, so glad you signed up for NaNoWriMo. wouldn’t it be cool if this is what let us let go of fiction commitment fears? thirty (thirty-one?) days is such a short amount of time that it could be more of a chance to let go of expectation and just experiment with fiction. and playing can be justified as a means to new skills because baby animals learn that way! all of their hunting and survival starts as fun, painless play and then…their skills come naturally. let’s do this thing they call fiction! i’m officially evicting ‘i suck’. bon courage! oh, p.s. what do you know about old gitanes? any good?

  2. Chloe July 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    I love your writing! It’s so fun and cheerful! As for writing (a novel) one day…I will join the same club as you are in. It’s always seemed to me that other things can always get in the way of writing – and they always do. I don’t think published authors are necessarily any better at writing than the average blogger – I just think those who do succeed have far greater will power than I do! That’s what it’s down to…oh and making and keeping goals. so much easier said than done! Have a great weekend! Chloe 😀

    • heatherfrendo July 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

      hi chloe! i am so glad you are diggin’ my writing. it’s fun to have your comments. it is such a cool process to make myself write daily…hard, no doubt. but i go to sleep at night feeling accomplished. i have a writer friend (hi julie!) and she suggested doing a thing called ‘ready, set, go’ so if there are days that we are struggling to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) we call/email and decide on an amount of time we are going to write for without stopping…ready, set, go! then check in afterwards. i’ll let you know how it goes when i take her up on it. enjoy your weekend too!

      • Chloe July 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

        It sounds like you and your friend Julie have a great plan of action to keep the inspiration flowing! I love your “ready, set, go” idea.

        Another idea is to randomly open the dictionary, come up with say ten words…and then write something containing those words. It’s amazing what happens. Try it sometime! For me, it really helps open up my mind.

        Looking forward to your future posts. Keep writing sister!

        Chloe 😀 xx

      • heatherfrendo July 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

        oh that’s a fabulous idea! sometimes random is the way to go. i’ll try it this week and post what i come up with. i love it when people call me ‘sister’…thanks for making my day! have fun this weekend.

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