- Title: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
- Author: Anne Lamott
- Genre: Memoir, Reference
- Grade: A
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life was on every list I read with book suggestions for becoming a better writer. After finishing this bestselling book, I can see why.
This book is broken into 5 parts, and modeled after the writing class Lamott taught at UC Davis. Lamott gives us a candid view of what her day to day writing experience is like, as well as a variety of material from authors who have inspired her. Each part has practical advice on the writing process, but the real appeal is in the anecdotes peppered throughout. It’s not everyday you read something categorized as reference that makes you laugh and tear up in equal measure. There is a beautiful story included in this book about a baby named Brice that made cry me and want to be a writer. A real one.
The practical tips are geared toward writing better fiction, but Lamott provided plenty of information that will improve non-fiction writing skills as well. I found the chapters Getting Started, Shitty First Drafts, Calling Around, and Someone to Read Your Drafts (thanks, Clayton!) particularly helpful. I am going to refine my blogging habit to include writing at least 300 words a day as Lamott suggests. I have been struggling to keep my posting schedule, and adding this writing goal will hopefully help me to stay on track.
I would recommend Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life to anyone who has aspirations related to writing. This book can inspire you to get started or give you the motivation to keep going. At 237 pages I think anyone could fit this into their reading list. I know I am glad I did!
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