birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Hi. Long time no speak.


I'm sorry I have been to out of touch for so long. I'm glad that Russ has been taking such good care of you. You wouldn't know it, but I've been reading your pieces which get emailed me every day at 2 a.m. like a little bundled gift.

I was thinking a bit about a comment that one of you appended to a post last week that said something like, "I spend half my time thinking about what to write."

This recalled for me one of the most interesting parts of the process of undertaking 40 Days & 40 Writes. Personally, when I did it -- both by myself, and later with a flock of writers on this platform -- I found that the writing wasn't the hard part. It was the getting to the knowing what I was going to write that took effort. I should point out too, that when I first tried out this program by myself, no one was sending me any prompts to get going every day. I just had to come up with something to write, and then compose and publish something on my blog every day that wouldn't be embarrassment.

That's really stuck with me -- the idea that knowing is so central to writing. Sometimes, sure, it's useful to use writing as a discovery process. But writing is so deeply satisfying when you are certain in what you want to say, so then you can really focus on how you say it. 

You're about halfway through your 40 days. This is a good time to take stock of how it's going for you.  I hope you've found a good rhythm and time of day to do your writing. You should be feeling at ease with writing uninterrupted for 15+ minutes. I hope you're finding a focused state of mind more quickly, too. In the coming weeks, the prompts aren't going to be so easy when it comes to giving you something to write about, so start stretching those muscles now.

Onward and upward!

-- Robin



Happy Flag Day!

On finding your groove