Life Advice



Ask Amy: Writers are encouraged to proceed ‘Bird by Bird’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My darling partner, “B,” has been a successful author, and has received a lot of satisfaction (and public acclaim) from it.

During a lull, B took a job to make ends meet, and has been doing the 9-to-5 slog ever since.

Every few months, B will get an idea for a new book. B has an agent and the connections to get it published.

B will get SUPER excited about the idea, talking about it for days.

I start thinking about how I can help, offering perspectives and praise: And then it fizzles and we're both sad.

B grinds away at a job to pay the bills, pursues hobbies and friendships — and takes the most wonderful care of our household.


I wish I could figure out a way to help move all that enthusiasm toward action, instead of watching my partner stall out at the idea phase.

I know that B would be deeply proud to complete a new project. I hate to see them feel so bad over the inability to make progress.

How can I help? And failing that, how do I avoid getting sucked into “B’s” enthusiasm and disappointment?

– Happy to Help


swipe to next page




Daryl Cagle Hi and Lois Rhymes with Orange Garfield Tim Campbell The Other Coast