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Excellent book for anyone, but particularly for aspiring writers. Real-world advice delivered with great humor and spiced with many moments of "been there myself and I know exactly how you feel". I thought I was the only arrogant loser out there who had those "I'm a genius/I'm a hack" moments before I read this book. How less-than-comforting to know that even if I have as much success in the future as Ms. Lamott, that lovely demon will still be there by my side. At least he'll have good company as I'm sure a dog-eared copy of Bird by Bird will be right here with him, errrr.... I mean us.  

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In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott gives poignant and sometimes funny stories of her own life and writing to illustrate her many points. Anne begins by telling the story of growing up with a writer as a father and the scorn or popularity it may entail. One time, her older brother had procrastinated on a report on birds that was due the next day. He was breaking down and close to tears at the prospect of writing about all those birds in one night. Their father then gave him the advice that names the book: “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
These stories of childhood, friends, family, and motherhood only garnish the trunk and stems of the tree where the birds sit. The book mainly focuses on how to write and Anne’s own experiences with it. She talks about how to treat your characters, why not to be frustrated with a first draft, why you should write for the sake of writing, not just to get published. All of these items of interest will render the reader satisfied.
Anne is a very blatant writer in that she gets her point across quickly and skillfully. If she thinks her first drafts are shitty, she will come out and say it in stead of holding her tongue. On the other hand, she is very poignant and thoughtful with her words. Her son, Sam, is an underlying topic to most of the book and her journey with him outlined perfectly. Overall, her ideas and feelings are a joy to read and I think anyone would appreciate this wonderful meditation.
 

Review: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

User Review  - Andre Jones Jr - Goodreads

Read at the behest of friend. How I thought I could write or be a writer having not read this is beyond me. I'm kidding and I'm not. I'm not kidding. Read full review

Review: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

User Review  - Molly Ringle - Goodreads

We were reading this in college creative writing class nearly 20 years ago, and I finally decided to re-read it, now that I'm a sort-of-more-or-less-professional novelist. I find Anne is completely ... Read full review

Review: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

As someone who is concept-oriented but hamstrung when it comes to the nitty-gritty of plot, I found this extremely helpful. I know I will return to it again and again. Read full review

Review: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

User Review  - Stephanie Burke - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book. Anne is funny, touches the heart and is brutally honest. Anyone who wants to start writing should read this book. I will be reading more of her work. Below is a great quote ... Read full review

Review: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

User Review  - Anne Tommaso - Goodreads

I think my favorite chapter in here is "Finding Your Voice"...lots of soulful, inspiring advice and calls to action that involve observing, being real, and getting to wor,. Read full review

Review: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

User Review  - Armando - Goodreads

I found Anne's words encouraging, blunt and inspiring. Read full review

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