Maybe this is why it feels like I'm trying to squeeze nectar out of a blade of grass

I started writing my book two and a half years ago, when YaYa was a baby, when we lived in San Francisco, when I could escape to a coffee shop every other day to hunker down and bite into it.

Then I moved here and I took a pause, I halted on my little book. I started writing online.

In the beginning my education came from books about writing. I read and reread Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (which I cannot link to right now because my computer is broken broken broken, and will only open up the pages that it WANTS to) and Escaping into the Open by Elizabeth Berg (same as before, but check out both on Amazon if you are interested in writing, they're great). I tried reading The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard, but wasn't so interested, because I needed facts, I needed hard cold rules and methods and assurances that I could finish my book and get it published and be famous.

The other day a book arrived in the mail for me, a gift from my dear friend Megan. It was The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard, and now I am drinking it in. I have changed a lot. I no longer believe that the world needs my book, or that it will be extra-special. I need her wisdom, now, her rambly nuggets of truth about writing.  This morning I read this:

It takes years to write a book--between two and ten years.  Less is so rare as to be statistically insignificant. One American writer has written a dozen major books over six decades. He wrote one of those books, a perfect novel, in three months.  He speaks of it, still, with awe, almost whispering. Who wants to offend the spirit that hands out such books?

Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in six weeks; he claimed he knocked it off in his spare time from a twelve-hour-a-day job performing manual labor. There are other examples from other continents and centuries, just as albinos, assassins,saints, big people, and little people show up from time to time in large populations. Out of a human population on earth of four and a half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a book in a year.  Some people lift cars, too. Some people enter week-long sled-dog races, go over Niagara Falls in barrels, fly planes through the Arc de Triomphe. Some people feel no pain in childbirth. Some people eat cars.  There is no call to take human extremes as norms.

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Words of comfort, wise words.