Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott
It has adult language so it’s not a great choice while you are cleaning the kitchen if the kids are underfoot. She talks mostly about writing and I learned so much, but I have to honestly say, even if I wasn’t interested in writing I would have still enjoyed this book. It’s half instruction on the art of writing, half memoir, and all hilarious.
This book made me feel excited and motivated to write and it gave me the confidence I really needed to just give it a go, knowing that it’s okay if it sucks at first. That’s how we get better. I’m so excited to read her other books, especially her memoirs. This book is one of my new favorites that I will go back to again and again and I’m so glad I chose to listen on audible.
She discusses many writing topics such as characters, plot, and dialogue. She covers the negative aspects and things that make writing more of a challenge like perfectionism and writer’s block. She lists many ideas for getting started, and tons of great tips for the entire journey. She discusses publication and expectations (there is a good chance you won’t get published) and what to expect (and what NOT to expect) if you do get published. She does a wonderful job of presenting our most neurotic and downright crazy behaviors and feelings in a very funny way. At the very least you will not feel alone in your crazy. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to thank Jesus that you have never felt the need to actually drink gin straight from the cat’s bowl. And hey, even if you have, you’re probably not the only one.
Here are some of the great things I learned from Bird by Bird:
- The importance of practice, practice, practice, every single day.
- Short writing assignments are the way to go and I love doing sh***y first drafts now! I too, pray that I won’t die an untimely death before I get to write my second drafts. But seriously, my expectations have changed and I am very happy with my writing habits now.
- I need to get a one inch picture frame for my desk.
- I need to get a writing group going!
Here is more information on Anne: http://barclayagency.com/site/speaker/anne-lamott She’s also on Facebook and Twitter.
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Question of the day: What is your favorite books/podcasts/websites about writing?