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Bird by Bird – A Book Review

Bird by BirdI’m embarrassed to tell you that I resisted reading this book by Anne Lamott for years; all I managed to do was deny myself a delight. All because I’ve been more than a bit jealous of her.

Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life is just what the title and subtitle say it is. Anne Lamott has written a charming book that is considered a modern classic.

Writers love it, and I’m now one, because Lamott lets all the agony, self-doubt and confusion show. We identify with her process and we relish her successes, somehow knowing they can become ours.

The first time I read Bird by Bird, I read it straight through, sometimes laughing, sometimes groaning and sometimes with a tear in my eye. Now I pick it up every now and again, particularly when I need some encouragement or a gentle kick in the behind.

These days I often simply let the book open where it will – full knowing that wherever my eye falls, I’ll find exactly what I need.

Buy the Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life now!

Write well and often,

annesig.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • I recently read this book and it was so fantastic – captured the essence of what it’s like to be a writer – famous or not. Brilliant!

  • I had the luck to be assigned “Bird by Bird” in a journalism class I took in college — I assumed it was going to be just another text book. But I’m still using things I learned from the first read (and reading my copy every so often). I particularly like the idea that I only have to get an inch or two written. That approach has gotten my work done more than once.

    Thursday Bram’s last blog post..The Business of Freelance Writing Carnival, Edition 70

  • In addition to the wonderful “Bird by Bird,” Anne was recorded about a decade ago and “Word by Word” makes a great listen. Annie is funny and insightful.

    Norm’s last blog post..Get your facts first

  • Amy

    This remains my favorite book on writing…such an enjoyable, humorous
    yet practical take on the tough task of writing. Thanks for reminding me I need to refer again and often to this useful, inspirational book, if only, as you say, in timely snippets!

  • Those are two of the best book on writing ever. I just bought Ms. Goldberg’s latest, Old Friend from Far Away but have not started it yet.

  • Anne, your timing is ESP-like. I ordered this on Thursday of last week. 🙂 I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. When writers recommend books, I listen!

    Can’t wait to enjoy it. 🙂

    Lori’s last blog post..Where is the Love?

  • Bird by Bird has always been one of my favorites. Lamott is just so beautifully honest about the process, and that’s been very helpful and inspiring to me.

    Belle’s last blog post..On Writing: And When Those Words Flow

  • Lou Paun

    I like Bird by Bird — but Writing Down the Bones is my “must re-read annually” book on writing.

    • Anne

      Lou, that’s a great one too.

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