Bird by Bird

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Instructor Wayne State University
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8 Responses to Bird by Bird

  1. Lindsey Olah says:

    I love this reading and was left wanting to read more of it. It is very relatable to just about every serious student and is a good spirit lifter when you’re feeling like no one could understand how overwhelmed you are.
    “writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlight, but you can make the whole trip that way.” This quote really resonated with me. I have never written a novel, but this can be applied to anything that needs to be overcome. I like how the author applied it to life in general. It seems, to me, that this piece was written as an attempt to relate to people, but students specifically, and I think it achieves just that. I think that the phrase “bird by bird” will forever come to mind when I am getting too overwhelmed by school or life in general. “Hey- lighten up, Francis” is a quirky quote that is nice to have stored in the back of my mind for days that I’m am taking myself entirely too serious.

  2. Ruwaida Ba-arma says:

    I love the way Anne Lamott wrote this piece.
    It was interesting to read as it’s honest and down to earth with a humorous spin and it applies to everyone who reads it, it was relatable. There have been many times that I have experienced “the block” and sit staring at a blank canvas not knowing where to begin although I could envision the outcome. I make the block by overthinking and planning. Sometimes you just have to go for it and not overthink. Its brilliant how she ties her examples to her life experiences and a couple of the points she mentioned that I could take away from this piece and apply to my life are:

    “You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will have to pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you.” Maybe I don’t always have to skip ahead to the end and try to plan every step I make.

    “Just what I can see through a one inch picture frame”.

    “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird”. I would have to say this is my favorite quote of the whole piece because I can relate to it. My mom always tells me when I’m in over my head ”take it one step at a time and you will succeed.”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all apply this to our lives… sit back, relax and take everything one step at a time… it’s ok to have a first, second and third draft and critique ourselves and be critiqued by others…after all, isn’t that why erasers were created

  3. john struman says:

    I really enjoyed this reading and found myself connecting with it. I feel like with this past project especially, I can definitely take this reading into my own life. Rather, it would be “triangle by triangle” building up to the monstrosity that was my egg-drop piece. I remember folding out every crease of the paper and attempting to wrap it up in one night. I had a mental breakdown and got extremely frustrated by how complex it had become, until I ultimately ended up doing it fold by fold, triangle by triangle…

    I also enjoyed the quotations she included from Stripes and E. L. Doctorow, those were some great pieces of life advice. This whole piece is just a great motivator in what would probably be the apex of the semester and the frustration that’s built up in me. I have an eight-page rough draft to write for my english class by tuesday, I guess I’ll just have to take that page by page… dreading it, but it’ll all work out.

  4. Konrad Tenwolde says:

    This reading was a different take on the idea of taking things one step at a time and the pressures of life. It’s highly relatable and I like the way the author uses their experience in the reading. It was nice to read and hear a fresh take on this idea because even as I was reading I knew what the message was however this different spin really made me value this concept again and try to use it. The quote about driving at night is great because it’s just like life you can’t always see the destination but if you’re steadily proceeding then you will reach it. It also relates to design because many times if you think too much it inhibits the design process. Sometimes in art, design, or whatever we need to just start doing and things can become easier.

  5. Ashley Laskey says:

    This article was very enjoyable and pleasant to read. She explained the way to start building an ‘artwork’, by giving examples of everyday life that are relateable. When I first start a project I’m striving to make a piece of ‘artwork’ but have much anxiety. Her article relates to this experience by, “taking a moment and to let my mind wander.” The idea of talking to other and getting their feedback is helpful when going through a creative process. She also highly expresses being able to take breaks during this process.
    These breaks are crucially needed to create more ideas of the artwork subconsciously. These ideas need to be- “just want I can see through the one-inch frame,” as said in this article. I believe this quote is helpful when understanding the flow of the process and just letting it happen. Artwork is created by taking the medium for what for what it is and not always thinking the complete outcome from the start. It is said in her article to take it,” bird by bid, buddy,” and I truly enjoy that statement.

  6. Jessica Haj says:

    Coming from a girl who hates reading, I definitely enjoyed reading this and I’m willing to read anything like this. Simply because I could relate to it. Come to think of it, every one of us could relate to it. Don’t we all have moments where we procrastinate then stress out and blank out and act as if the world is coming to an end? I know I do. But if there is one thing I will always think about when I’m stuck in another situation like this, it is “Bird by bird buddy, just take it bird by bird.” A quote so short, that means so much. In other words, it restates what my mother always told me growing up, “Just breathe Jessica, sit back, read it over, and take it step by step, don’t hesistate and freak out, cause you won’t be doing anything but hesitating, and that’s not any form of succeeding.”
    Another line from this article that is short and very deep that caught my attention was, “..just what I can see through the one inch picture frame.” I took this in a sense meaning there is so much to life but sometimes you have to look at the little details because those mean the most.
    And last but not least, my favorite quote from this reading, one that I will always remember and take to heart, is what E. L. Doctorow quoted, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night, you can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

  7. Kelly Guillory says:

    Bird by Bird is written as a sort of pep talk for the person who’s overwhelmed with a large project. When something seems enormous, taking small bites out of the process can be a better idea, than tackling it altogether.

    I was frustrated with the woodworking project when I sat down to this reading. Even though it was a small writing, it was sort of like a break for my brain–like someone telling me, “Hey, stop, take it easy.” My project was piled at my feet as if I were assessing the whole of it when I began. When I put the reading down, I was able to relax and focus better on pieces of it, instead of worrying about how the final project would turn out.

  8. Zach Thompson says:

    Bird by Bird describes the current situation I’m struggling with. She describes ways to calmly collect yourself to begin taking elements of your everyday life and rendering these thoughts to a visual element. Reading this article was rather calming for me, as I read it in between struggling to finish my 3-D project. By taking smaller steps and setting smaller goals it will allow me to finish my project with less stress and better focus. As soon as I finished the reading it acted as a motivator to help me finish my piece.

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