Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Salon: Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

This afternoon I decided to reread Anne Lamott's writing classic, Bird by Bird. Even though I've already read this book more than once, I'm already one-fifth of the way through.

If you haven't read this book, and you are anyone who seeks to pursue writing -- from the college student grinding out essays to even the most seasoned of wordsmiths -- I highly recommend getting a copy. I'd say it's right on par with one of my most favorite writing books of all time, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.

Bird by Bird is just as enjoyable to read as it is informative. Lamott has a unique way of sharing with the reader the basics of good writing while blending it with her own personal stories and a solid dose of wit.

Lamott expertly whittles down the craft that has been a part of her life for decades. She then compresses that advice into neatly understandable packages that we can carry with us into our own writing lives, long after we close the covers of the book. However, this isn't one of those books you will want to pass on without a care, for you will find yourself returning to its sage advice again and again.

4 comments:

dshep said...

Hello. I'm visiting your blog via The Sunday Salon. This is my first week in the Salon.

I have a copy of Anne Lamott's "bird by bird" in my to be read pile. I just grabbed it out.

Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD said...

Anne Lamott is a tremendously entertaining writer but I think Bird by Bird is much more suitable for people who are looking to write novels. I haven't got a novel in me so it was hard to identify.

...here via Sunday Salon :)

Wendy said...

Ah, I love this book - and I adore Lamott's writing. Makes me want to re-read some of her books again :)

happilycoupled said...

In response to hsien-hsien lei, phd - I see your point that much of the book is focused on novel writing, but I think the first few chapters, and some in between, could be relevant to anyone.

For example, the advice to write without letting your judgment interfere, and to start small, using the one-inch picture frame concept. Those are good warm-up strategies for writers of all types, even for college essays. In addition, she goes on to talk about paying attention to details somewhere further on in the book.