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on June 18, 2016
Whimsical, inspiring and hard to put down. The writer goes off on tangents and seems to ramble but surprisingly makes her point at the end.
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on July 24, 2017
A delightful romp through the emotions of a really funny and gifted writer.
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on May 2, 2017
love her writing
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Regardless of the many years I’ve been writing, it’s always worthwhile to pick up a recommended book on the topic. I’d heard great things about Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird from colleagues for years, but only bought a copy last month. To put it succinctly, the book blew me away.

Lamott personalizes her journey as an author, mother, and teacher. By sharing her experiences, she’s made the writer’s many ups and downs instantly relatable. It was like combining a distance education class with a candid discussion over a glass of wine. Lamott’s chapters on getting started were especially useful to me, as was the section on the importance of characters driving the plot.

You’ll want to refer to Bird by Bird often. In fact, it’s one of the best books on writing I’ve ever read, and trust me, I’ve read more than a few. Oh, and one more point: read the introduction. It’s an absolute delight and provides interesting backstory about Lamott’s life. Even if you’re not a writer, you’ll find her insights to the uncertain and all-too-often agonizing process an eye opener.
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on August 3, 2001
I read BIRD BY BIRD because I had started at least two novels and gotten discouraged before I got to page 100. The words languished on a computer disk until they finally disappeared, a slow and quiet death. But I knew I had a novel inside of me. Don't we all? I wanted to write. I wanted to get the words out, to get the story told, to finish what I started. I wanted to be motivated and inspired. Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD managed to do this for me. I read the book and when I finished I started writing again and didn't stop until the book was finished. I didn't read anything else during that time. I just wrote and wrote, word by word, bird by bird.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels discouraged about what they are writing or for those who think they could write but just haven't tackled it yet. Give it a shot!
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on May 7, 2004
The writer's life isn't always glamorous, but there is usually never a dull moment(OK maybe a few). LaMott tells it like it is. I got this book from my sister Sarah, who knew I was writing my first book. It turned out to be one of my favorite books of all time.
It was interesting to eavesdrop on different strategies she employed to keep her writing fresh and creative. The book was so well written, I felt like I was talking to a good friend. Well Done Anne!!
Jeffrey McAndrew
author of "Our Brown Eyed Boy"
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on May 19, 2000
Anne Lamott is real, loveable, funny and honest, and this book will make most creative writers feel better about their own idiosyncracies and insecurities, but the actual advice on writing as craft could probably have been reduced to two pages. Buy it for entertainment and good company, not as a how-to book.
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on February 29, 2004
In the world of writing there are many different books that one can check out to find guidance and inspiration. This book explains how to write in a down to earth way. Writing is like walking, taking one step at a time until you end up where you want to be. Oferring everything from she has ever learned about writing Anne Lamott presents it in a way that is humorous, inspirational and can help any writer who is having trouble. After you finish reading this book you will be motivated to want to write for hours upon hours.
The first part of the book is a basic overview of how to write a work of literature. The number one rule of writing is to tell the truth. The reader does not want to read a story from an unrealiable source. After the writer swears to write the truth Lamott says to start from the very beginning of your life. Write down everything: where you went to school? who your friends and teachers were? What clothes you wore? things like that. Then expand the details, write the fine points and then just keep going. Writing is observing what is around you and putting that on paper. To get into the mood for writing, make it a habit, sit down at the same time, and just write. The only way to get better at something is to practice, so practice writing. This process is the same for everyone.
Once you start the writing, the characters need to come into play. What are the different personalities of these people? Are they good with morals? Or are they bad to the bone? Now ask yourself different uestions and think of an answer that the character might respond with. Get to know your characters personally and let there be something at stake or else the story will be very boring. One way to familiarize yourself with the characters is to base them on people you know.
As the plot thickens, Lamott says that the characters interacting make the plot. Two characters who learn about each other day by day are bound to have something happen to them at some point.
After the characters are in place, the set needs to be accounted for. This accounting is where the author gets to be the director and set everything into place. What does the room or surroundings look like? What time is it? What does the area smell like? These and many other questions need answere to make the plot work.
Bird by Bird also has many examples as to why to write in the first place. You can give your writing as a gift. Write someone a story and they will chereish it forever. Write for the communitiy, in a paper. Tell the populaceyour view of an event happening in the town. The best reason to write, is to have it published. To have your words immortalized in a book is one of life's ultimate moments. Although Lamott says that it is not as big as, one would make it. Once you have a published book, you think that it could have been better written she argues.
Lamott has a lot of advice to give to writers who feel stuck in their writing. Her advise can be put to good use. The first advise is to carry index cards, when a good idea pops into your head, just whip out an index card and jot down your idea. Later gather your index cards while writing and put your good ideas to use. Lamott says that a telephone is a good resource to use on writing. When you need a second opinion about something or need some expert advice just use a telephone to instantly contact someone. Another good piece of advice is to shut up that voice that says that your work is worthless, that it is not perfect, and that it does not sound good. Silence that voice in order to achieve perfection. Probably the most important advice is to keep writing. Practice makes perfect.
This book has taught me a lot about writing. I thorougly enjoyed the book. Lamott explains how to write well in a simple, humorous, way that makes writing enjoyable. I highly recomend Bird by Bird. Even though I will not pursue a career in writing, I can not wait to start my own story just to be writing.
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on May 14, 1998
Buy this book and read it twice.
The first time, all the way through.
The second time, slowly, with highlighter pen in hand.
Then, as Henry Miller said, find a place to "plant your ass" and begin writing.
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on June 19, 2017
I hesitated whether to buy before, but when I got it, I have to say I made a nice decision to buy this. this is exactly what I wanted Overall I am happy with the product and it works quite well. I did a overall test after I received it and found it is really good, especially its design. like as I expect perfection
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