- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (September 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385480016
- ISBN-13: 978-0385480017
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,257 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life 1st Edition
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Think you've got a book inside of you? Anne Lamott isn't afraid to help you let it out. She'll help you find your passion and your voice, beginning from the first really crummy draft to the peculiar letdown of publication. Readers will be reminded of the energizing books of writer Natalie Goldberg and will be seduced by Lamott's witty take on the reality of a writer's life, which has little to do with literary parties and a lot to do with jealousy, writer's block and going for broke with each paragraph. Marvelously wise and best of all, great reading.
From Publishers Weekly
Lamott's ( Operating Instructions ) miscellany of guidance and reflection should appeal to writers struggling with demons large and slight. Among the pearls she offers is to start small, as their father once advised her 10-year-old brother, who was agonizing over a book report on birds: "Just take it bird by bird." Lamott's suggestion on the craft of fiction is down-to-earth: worry about the characters, not the plot. But she's even better on psychological questions. She has learned that writing is more rewarding than publication, but that even writing's rewards may not lead to contentment. As a former "Leona Helmsley of jealousy," she's come to will herself past pettiness and to fight writer's block by living "as if I am dying." She counsels writers to form support groups and wisely observes that, even if your audience is small, "to have written your version is an honorable thing."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I recommend this book to writers and non-writers. I bet if you are a non-writer, you will want to write after reading this book.
Having read this in the early 1990's, my first peek into the written arts that has since consumed me, I found literal joy at experiencing it *for the first time* once again.
The simple instruction and, at times, whimsical and at other times painful, anecdotes are invaluable to anyone in pursuit of understanding and attempting a solid foundation as a writer, and hopefully, one day, if you stick with it long enough, as an author.
If you don't know where to start, or if you feel oppressed by perfectionism or the infamous writer's block, this book has some advice for you. You will learn to treat your characters as living (ficticious) beings, and that they dictate the plot.
Bird by Bird is not a rulebook, but it reads more like a friendly conversation. I recommend it to all kinds of writers.
1) Connecting the Dots - backwards : you dont know the dots will connect in the future, only backwards, only your intuition, faith, trusting your gut that your story will make sense somehow, someday - Keep Looking, Dont Settle
2) Death is Inevitable, the greatest change agent of life - dont waste limited time living someone else's life - we are all naked, so be brave and be who you want to be, say what you want to say
3) Stay Hungry Stay foolish