Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

4.1 117
by Anne Lamott
     
 

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"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

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Overview

"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.'"

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful and  provocative." — New York Times Book  Review.

"A warm, generous and  hilarious guide through the writer's world and its  treacherous swamps." — Los Angeles  Times.

"A gift to all of  us mortals who write or ever wanted to write...  sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately  cranky and kind — a reveille to get off our duffs  and start writing now, while we  still can." — Seattle  Times.

Library Journal
★ 02/01/2016
With good humor, Lamott (Small Victories) encourages writers to write honestly, tackle writing projects in manageable steps, use life experience to inform their art, and much more. (LJ 8/94)
bn.com
Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird is an inspiring and humorous look at the spirituality and sometimes dull reality of writing and the writing life. Lamott offers practical and honest suggestions on how to beat writer's block, find inspiration, or tackle a project that seems overwhelming, all of it wrapped in her warm and often hilarious viewpoint. With lessons in craft, art, and even life, having Bird by Bird on the shelf is like having a fellow writer and friend on hand for whenever you need motivation, inspiration, or even just a chuckle or two.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.'' (Sept.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385480017
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1995
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
22,678
Product dimensions:
4.13(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.58(d)

Meet the Author

Anne Lamott lives with her son, Sam, in northern California. She is the author of five books, including the novels Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, and All New People. Her last book, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, was published by Pantheon in 1993.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Fairfax, California
Date of Birth:
1954
Place of Birth:
San Francisco, California
Education:
Attended Goucher College in Maryland before dropping out to write

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