‘bird by bird – some instructions on writing and life’ by Anne Lamott
A Review by Becky Holland
Ratings: 5 stars
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'” – Anne Lamott
In ‘bird by bird,’ Anne Lamott takes the craft of writing beyond what most teachers would. She interweaves personal experiences with humor with basic lessons about the writing process. Analogies from her childhood and early career as a writer are utilized to present advice and inspiration to those who write for a living or write for a dream
Though classified as a writing guide, ‘bird by bird’ could be a memoir filled with compassion. Lamott writes as if she is having a conversation with each reader. You almost feel as if it is just the two of you – talking or chatting about life. After shutting the book, you can’t help but keep it on your nightstand with a highlighter.
Sure, she pulls from the words of wisdom of some of her favorite writers and other curriculum. Lamott’s credentials are visible. That gives the book validity.
But it is her warmth, her passion, her realism, her frankness and gentleness that makes the book one you want to have.