Writing is for the Birds

IMG_3103I recently moved my writing spot downstairs, so I can see my window bird feeder while I work.

The feeder seems made for those long periods of puzzling things out that a new book entails. I tend to hit my speed during revision, somewhere around the second or third draft. At that point, I know, I won’t look up. I won’t notice the birds at all because I will be lost to the manuscript, but for now, I’m doing a lot of thinking, a lot of watching of birds.


I am continually amazed at the variety of birds that show up at my feeder and how closely I am able to observe them, unnoticed. This yellow one is my favorite. He shows up most days, though a large black bird keeps landing beside him and nudging him out. Two cardinals have made a nest in a nearby bush, and they visit, too, generally in the morning, but sometimes at dusk. Titmice are plentiful, as are jays and chickadees. I thought I saw a Purple Finch yesterday, though I couldn’t be sure. He flew off before I could snap his picture.


How about you? How is your writing going these days?

12 thoughts on “Writing is for the Birds

  1. What a cool view for your writing space! Those birds are gorgeous~what fun it must be to see the same ones come day after day. Must get a bird feeder! I’m revising a middle grade manuscript right now. It’s been slow, but I plan to push through and get another pass done before June 🙂

  2. beautiful birds! I would have fun watching them. My daughter is obsessed with them and knows the names of all the birds that hang out in our yard, she would be in heaven.

  3. Here is a poem I wrote after finding two little birds in the girl scout cabin on a camping trip last spring. Thought I would share:

    what we can learn from birds:

    whether or not a space is airtight; whether food is ample or panic is in order. how long and how far one can survive away from sanctum. how it feels to cup, to harbor, to usher out, to let go.

    in the subtlety of a dark and aired-out place, draped, swept, flanked by trees, two wood thrushes rustled and longed. two females nonetheless and downy, their liquid, flute-like calls suspended in distress, reduced to one-half of their duets. light entered, as if an invitation to climb its rungs in one of two directions. my hands, clamped loose and nestish, cradled first one and then the other, rescued, and returned them to unbounded skies but not before stroking their feathers long into the hard eluding.

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