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Bird by Bird

Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Anne Lamott

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our  family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 29, 1994 – Lamott's ( Operating Instructions ) miscellany of guidance and reflection should appeal to writers struggling with demons large and slight. Among the pearls she offers is to start small, as their father once advised her 10-year-old brother, who was agonizing over a book report on birds: ``Just take it bird by bird.'' Lamott's suggestion on the craft of fiction is down-to-earth: worry about the characters, not the plot. But she's even better on psychological questions. She has learned that writing is more rewarding than publication, but that even writing's rewards may not lead to contentment. As a former ``Leona Helmsley of jealousy,'' she's come to will herself past pettiness and to fight writer's block by living ``as if I am dying.'' She counsels writers to form support groups and wisely observes that, even if your audience is small, ``to have written your version is an honorable thing.''

Customer Reviews

THANKS , I NEEDED that!

Yes, I take myself too seriously. Nearly daily I am severely wounded by humiliations, oversights and requests so demeaning my work days feel like a slow, numbing painful death by a thousand cuts.

For the last few days, I have guiltily snuck my iPad out during my lunch hour and buried my face into the world of Anne Lamott.

It has been a tonic — a terrific, uplifting, reviving experience. She is so transparent and THERE, these lunch meetings feel as if I've been dining with a dear friend.

I definitely feel better... and, oh yeah - I"m writing again too. Not out of vengeance (quite yet) but out of a sense of survival. (I feel a sly smile twisting up the corners of my mouth - this tells me the vengeance is coming...)

Feeling insecure? Read this. Feeling stuck? Read this. Not feeling anything.... Definitely read this. It may even remind you how to chuckle. (It may even cause you to blast iced tea out your nose and feel triumphant about it.) I am giving away copies like a zealot.

Very helpful!!!!

I had to read parts of this book for a writing class. I think this is the only reason why i passed. I have a writing phobia and whenever i have to write any thing i reread this if i get stuck. Heck... Lamott is so entertaining I even reread some parts of the book in my free time. Its good stuff.

Bird by Bird
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  • $8.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Writing
  • Published: Sep 06, 1994
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings