Over the weekend, I finished reading “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott. I had bought the book a while ago on my iPad’s Kindle app but had not taken the time to finish reading it until this weekend. I’m not sure what took me so long because the book is a fun and easy read. It is also an inspiring read if, like me, you aspire to be a good writer. Actually, I would like to just be able to self-identify as a writer. In the book, Anne is both encouraging but also realistic about the prospects of making a living only as a writer. I don’t actually desire to be published in the traditional sense of the word, I just want to express myself. It would also be great if I could leave a little bit of a legacy about who I am or was to who ever might care in the end.
Anne (and I call her Anne because now I feel like I know a bit about her through her writing) provides a few pointers on the craft of writing such as getting your characters sorted out and your plot line to make sense. This information is valuable but the parts of the book that I really like have more to do with the writing process. Anne provides some really helpful hints about getting out of your own way. Just write. Write daily. Write 300 words a day. Just do the work.
There is one section in the book on reasons to write. This section is worth the price of admission. Anne has articulated what I really want to achieve with my writing. I want to make it a gift of a point in time, with my point of view from my life. I want a vehicle to express myself, even if in the end it is just to myself.
“Bird by Bird” is a lovely little gift of a book to a writer or to a reader.
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