Bird by bird: some instructions on writing and life

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Anchor Books, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 239 pages
133 Reviews
"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

"Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful and provocative." -- "New York Times Book Review."

"A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." -- "Los Angeles Times."

"A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write... sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind -- a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing "now," while we still can." -- "Seattle Times."

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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.  

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MelissaLenhardt - LibraryThing

Some genuinely good advice once you wade through the neuroses. But wildly overrated as a writing book IMO. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Anne Lamott lives with her son, Sam, in northern California. She is the author of five books, including the novels Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, and All New People. Her last book, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, was published by Pantheon in 1993.

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