Bird By Bird

Published By: Anchor

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Writing/Publishing

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Reviewed by Connie Anderson

LaMott has been an author and creative writing teacher in California. And in her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, she tells us how she helps her students start writing, often using their own lives as fodder. Her simple advice is: Write, write, write. She suggests we try hard to recall our first memory, first day of school, first love, first of everything. So many of us have stories to tell, but we don't get started with pen to paper, hands to keyboard. She reminds us not to worry about the first draft, and to worry about libel later!

As one who edits book manuscripts, I laughed as she described an editor by comparing him to a friend who will "put your pet down" when your pet has outlived its usefulness, and you can't do it yourself. This brand of humor is what you can expect from this and many of her books.

Check her out. It took me forever to read Bird by Bird because I highlighted endlessly and took copious notes—and I thought of my first memories. You will, too.

Other Lamott books:Blue Shoe, Crooked Little Heart, Rosie, All New People, Hard Laughter, Plan B: Future Thoughts on Faith, plus she has short stories in many other books.

Voted one of the 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009