Michelle's Reviews > Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
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's review
May 21, 2010

really liked it
Read in May, 2010

Four stars. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this book. It is in fact a good blend of writing advice and advice for living. She demysifies the process even best-selling authors go through and does so with great humor, which is often self-effacing. The sections on dealing with jealousy and writer's block are a hoot. I appreciate that she doesn't try to pretend she has never dealt with either of those situations nor does she dress up her very human responses in an attempt to excuse them.

What I am taking away:
1. Write because it gives you joy but realize that there are times when it will be agonizing.
2. One day at a time/One small scene at a time.
3. Find your own voice/characters/settings and be true to them while developing them into the most excellent forms they can take.
4. Don't get so wrapped up in your own writing/hype/frustration that you fail to be aware of the rest of the world.
5. How to avoid a libel suit-- If a character is based on a real person change every identifying detail and give him a very tiny penis, no one will want to make a public stink if the world thinks he is poorly endowed.
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You will love this...cannot recommend it highly enough...

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