Top positive review
sometimes hillarious, sometimes painful, yet always believable advice for beginning writers
on October 12, 2017
This is a lovely book about "how to write." It is full of good humor and good advice. After the introduction I was laughing out loud and after the first few chapters, I was invigorated to go write fiction as fast as possible for the rest of my life. If there are any real downers in this book they are that not enough attention has been given to Scribl and Smashwords and (yes) Amazon self-publishing (however, this is totally forgivable, since the book was published in 1995, still, an addendum would be nice), and that the author is so brutally frank about the realities of being a professional author (seems you need more than a couple of New York Times Bestsellers under your belt before you can even be confident of paying the rent on time every month -- who knew? -- maybe this "write fiction forevermore" idea I had is not economically the wisest). Lamott never condescends or minces, she writes to us in the voice of an established beginner addressing slightly less experienced beginners with encouragement but also with hard facts. The language is for grown-ups, but the message is clear (and could probably be paraphrased helpfully even for grade schoolers, as long as we leave out some of the cancer-paranoia and the wonderful story about the effing keys). Whether or not I ever really get published, I am grateful to Lamott for giving me this view of the landscape without talking down to me or filling it full of fluffy rainbows.