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

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
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's review
Nov 13, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: about-writing, non-fiction
Read in November, 2008

Bird By Bird is less a book about writing techniques and more a writer speaking to other writers and telling them that it's okay. All of it. All their neuroses and hang ups and setbacks. It's okay. Just take it word by word (bird by bird). I don't think I learned much from it, but just having someone say it's okay to me for two hundred and thirty-seven pages was good. There is some good advice in there about how to start writing a scene you don't know about, how to let your characters develop, how to deal with criticism, how to pull ideas out of the melting pot that is memory. There's a piece of advice that I just love and might have to try some day: write a book for your favourite author. I don't know what I'll write for Susan Cooper or Ursula Le Guin or Guy Gavriel Kay, but I know I want to try writing for them.

Anne Lamott writes understandingly, in a way that will make you smile wryly and -- in places -- probably make you want to cry. It may not teach you anything beyond it's okay, and you might find that even that you know, but her writing is lovely and worth reading anyway. I've never read any of her novels, but I definitely recommend reading this.
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Reading Progress

11/11/2008 page 33
13.92% "So far worth reading, if only because I smile in wry recognition of it."

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