55 quotes from The Tim Ferriss Show episode #522 with Anne Lamott
The Tim Ferriss Show episode #522: Anne Lamott on Taming your inner Critic, Finding Grace, and Prayer
"I don't try to teach kids or grownups how to write really really well. I just teach them to stop not-writing. I teach them to keep their butt in the chair and to write badly."
"All first drafts of any book you've ever read, by the authors you esteem most, began as unreadable first drafts."
"Take it really small, bird by bird." - Kenneth Lamott (her dad telling her older brother how to approach writing a big essay on birds for his 4th grade term paper when he was really discouraged and overwhelmed)
"Writing is like driving at night with the headlights on. You can only see a little ways in front of you, but you can make the whole journey that way." - E.L. Doctorow
"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. It's the voice of the enemy. And if you listen to it, it keeps you crazy for your entire life because we all fall short."
"You've written books - and you think you're creating this golden and crystal palace that people can walk inside of and see all of the truths and beauty in reality. And you kind of end up - your books and my books, all of them, are kind of shanty towns. You know, in the peace marches, where people set up tents and thought it made sense to bring their dogs during the rain storm. And that's a miracle, to have written a shanty town."
"Sit down, keep your butt in the chair, and you take one passage - one memory, one vision, one bit of dialogue, one character description - and you do it badly."
"I heard him down at his desk at that old Olympia at 5:30 every morning - rain or shine or hangover. He just did it. And that was what he taught me, that you don't wait for inspiration. It's an illusion."
"I don't believe in inspiration. What gets me going is debt, mental illness and the desire for revenge."
"If there was a broken egg yolk, maybe it wasn't my turn again. Maybe Sam should have the broken egg yolk. Sam loves the perfect fried egg, but you know what - tough shit." Become your own priority.
"When I'm spiritually not fit, I'm just tripping. I'm making up stories, I'm in fear, I'm in anxiety."
Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear = Frantic Effort to Appear Recovered
Fear = Future Events Already Ruined
Fear -> Fear Expressed Allows Relief
"When I need to look good, when I need to appear to be doing well is when I'm at my most spiritually lost."
"Future events already ruined. That's not truth, that's just K-Fucked radio."
"Spiritually fit for me is that I'm not tripping, and that I'm breathing."
"But if you breath, you may end up in your body, and it may be that in your body terrible things happen to you ... and so breathing will bring you into your body, so for that reason you may resist it."
"The Sacrament of Ploppage: to sit down and for one minute to breath into my heart cave and do the sighing, I get my sense of humor back."
"Laughter is carbonated holiness."
"That's what spiritually fit means for me. That I remember I'm not this terrible pinball machine in my mind - cranking out new ideas about how I can do life more perfectly so that everybody will think more highly of me."
"And she listened. Which is the miracle, that somebody listens and they don't try to save or rescue or fix you. Or horse you into submission to what they think would be a good path for you."
"Children are our outside heart."
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
"Help is the sunny side of control. ... Get back onto your own emotional acre."
"Everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
"Welcome to the monkey house." - Kurt Vonnegut
"Stop living unconsciously, stop trying to force everything into submission."
"You can tell you've created God in your own image when he hates all the same people you do." - Tom Westen
"Progress not perfection."
"Discipline is the path to freedom."
"Everything we let go of has claw marks in it."
"I sit down quite early, give myself short assignments ... and reward myself when I finish a tough paragraph or passage. MSNBC and some M&M's, no music or noise."
"If I were your writing partner, I'd say 'will you tell me that story on paper? And write it really badly'. It's going to be 6 pages and by the time I edit it I'm going to let you use 3 of them, but write it long and badly. Just write it. Just do it now."
"Nobody cares if you or I write again, so we'd better."
"It's the spiritual, creative, artistic life. It's loopy and it doubles back, and it's like a mobius strip and it's 3 steps forward and 2 back, but you got to sit there because you got to keep your butt in the chair."
"You own everything that's happened to you. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better."
"That voice, that critical voice, every step of the way is going to be explaining reasons why it doesn't matter if you write it, that you're beating a dead horse, or that you're going to hurt people's feelings or any number of reasons why to keep you from writing."
"But if you have this thing inside of you - if you're not writing, then you're not whole - you have to ask yourself 'How alive am I willing to be?'. And if you're willing to be really alive, then you've got to write your truth. You've got to tell your stories. You've got to do this deep union with self or you have to ask yourself 'Why am I even here, what's the point?'."
"There has to be something at stake in every story."
"We all love stories about ourselves ... And that's what people like about my stories. Because they're the stuff in me that I know is universal, it holds up a mirror to them."
"When you first meet me you meet my bodyguard." - Duncan Trussell
"The willingness comes from the pain."
"We're here to learn to endure the beams of love." - William Blake
"It's scary to be loved. It's scary to be forgiven. It's scary to be accepted as you are. What's the catch?"
"Hate is not the opposite of love, the opposite of love is indifference." - Elie Wiesel
"Help me keep my sticky fingers off the controls of this spaceship."
"Take the action and the insight follows."
"You don't think yourself into having a warm generous heart, you act your way. You do loving things for other people."
"A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost." - Henry James
"Sometimes I think that heaven is just a new pair of glasses." - Father Ed Dowling
"The struggle ends when the gratitude begins." - Neale Donald Walsch
"Help me get out of the way, to write what wants to be written."
"Through love, all pain will turn to medicine." - Rumi
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