Monday, January 26, 2009

Category 3, Book 2: Books about books - Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
999 Challenge Category: Books about Books/Reading/Writing

Anne Lamott, a writer of fiction and nonfiction, distills the advice she gives to her creative writing students. Using her two cornerstones of writing -- short assignments and "shitty first drafts" -- a lot of humor, personal stories, and memorable metaphors, this is unlike any writing how-to book I've ever read.

In all honesty, I included "writing" in this category to read one book in particular that now fits in a different category. I haven't written in years partly because I never seemed to be able to finish what I started and partly because I read so many really good books that I figured I couldn't write that well so never mind. But Bird by Bird makes me want to write again. Ms. Lamott doesn't beat you over the head with "you must write every day" (though she suggests writing at least 300 words a day, even if you only write about how much you don't want to write) or give you a formula for how to be a Writer. She doesn't making writing sound easy, but she did make it sound doable, even necessary. I haven't taken up writing again yet, but I may well consider it. 5 stars.

Cross-posted at the 999 Challenge.

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