I had decisions to make and options to consider, but my mind, as it is wont to do, went into a semi-freeze. Writing is usually the way to go when this happens, but I’d been in a writing funk for a while (a while being months, and funk being an inability to write the things I want to for fear that they’ll come out as rubbish). So I turned to one of life’s greatest pleasures: reading.
I picked up Anne Lamott’s Small Victories and page after page, anecdote after anecdote, Anne helped me put my situation into perspective. She wasn’t writing about me or anything close to me—I don’t have friends faced with life-threatening diseases and I’m not suffering from the loss of love of any kind. But as I read about the strength and grace her friends showed in dire situations and her own struggle in her spiritual walk, I saw myself in different light.
There are times when I come across great writing and feel like my quality of life has improved. I feel like Super Mario when he eats a mushroom, or Popeye after a can of spinach, or a bricklayer after a meal of bread and beans. Anne is one of the writers who do this to me. She’s on the same level with CS Lewis and Philip Yancey in this regard, and just above Timi Yeseibo (this is because Timi has refused to write a book—for now 🙂 ). These people have my literary mumu-button, they make me say “Yes, that’s exactly how I feel.” I believe good writing should make us better, and these four people do just that in their personal narratives.
After the fourth chapter of the book, I paused, picked my journal and wrote my first complete story in days. This was not a small victory—it was a big, fat, gigantic victory.