Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

January 25, 2020

An earnest account of life as a writer from one I already enjoy.

It’s been years since I read anything by Anne Lamott, but her voice was immediately welcome and familiar.

This book was structured roughly like stages in a writing workshop and included advice on writing fiction and expectations for getting published. What I most enjoyed was the narrative throughout on what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of a writer, and the ensuing struggle to nurture characters and give form to ideas.

More overlap again with Stoicism; on being present and experiencing things as they are, yet taking a permanent role as observer and not being consumed by immediate circumstance.

She was always careful to take ownership of her observations and leanings, sprinkling in opposing advice and leaving all conclusions to the reader.

Anne Lamott consistently characterizes the precious and the absurd with humor, precision, and warmth. This was the best “behind the scenes” glimpse I could have hoped for and I’m glad she wrote it.

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