- 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: 1,268 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
“Bird” is a giant why-write and what-to-write pep rally put on by one very funny woman. Lamott gives plenty of valid reasons for an individual to write beyond that grand, elusive goal of publication which most of us dream about. She coaches starting with “Short Assignments” and moving on to “Shitty First Drafts.” She talks in general terms about developing characters, plot and dialogue. One example: “Novels ought to have hope; at least, American novels ought to have hope. French novels don’t need to. We mostly win wars, they lose them. Of course, they did hide more Jews than many other countries and this is a form of winning.”
Lamott talks plenty about the tough times—writer’s block, finding you voice, jealousy of successful writer friends—and how to move beyond the funk. She uses her own shortcomings and struggles as a base to encourage the reader to take the high, honest roads in life. My advice is to start your reading of “Bird” with the last paragraph. The reasons Lamott gives there for all of us to write plus the beauty and inspiration in her words on that one-third page are worth the price of the book.
Most recently, I read aloud selections of the chapter on writer's block to my university students (School Lunches, p. 33). She writes for days (with lots of humor) on her recollections of the events in the school cafeteria. Then, as she is reading through this nonsense, she discovers her mention of the kid who never fits in. This is the gem that will become the seed of her next piece. My students are laughing and enjoying the light reading and then suddenly a important truth emerges--we all have the ideas to be great writers, but we have to coax them out--free writing is a great way to do that.
Finally, a mentor who can guide a lost writer step by step, bird by bird. Thank you.