As a writer, I get asked a lot if I’m ever going to write a book. A lot of journalists also write books “on the side,” so aren’t I going to too?

My dad wants me to be the next J.K. Rowling. I think of Harry Potter, of Albus Dumbledore, of Lord Voldemort and of Hogwarts and I don’t know where to start.

I do want to write a book. I want to write my autobiography. I’ve wanted to write my autobiography ever since I read “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott in COM 467 Feature Writing, a journalism course at the University of Washington.

In the book, which is a national bestseller, she offers wannabe writers some instructions on writing and life.

She says: If you don’t know where to start, start with your childhood. Flannery O’Connor said that anyone who survived childhood had enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.

If you feel overwhelmed, give yourself small assignments. You might start with all you can remember about kindergarten, then move on to first grade, second grade, third grade.

When her brother was 10 years old, he was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. He was at the kitchen table, close to tears, surrounded by papers and pencils and unopened books about birds.

He was immobilized by his task. Then, their father, a writer, sat down next to him, put his arm around him and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

I’m going to write my autobiography, bird by bird.

I announced my plans to a stranger once. She had asked me if I’ve ever thought of writing a book. I answered, yes, maybe an autobiography. She scoffed at me, then. Actually scoffed at me!

She said, “Usually when people write an autobiography, it’s because they’ve done something worth writing about.” She must have realized how rude she sounded because then she said, “Well, maybe you have done something.”

I said, “Yes, maybe I have.”

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