Telling the truth as a writer is one of the toughest goals we can set, and this is where Lamott begins. With each chapter, from “Shitty First Drafts” to “How Do You Know When You’re Done?” Lamott lays out the process of writing–both the mysterious and the mundane (mystane? munsterious?)—that anyone who’s attempted the task will deeply appreciate. What makes her book special, however, is not the writing advice (which is not only excellent, but excellent in a way that makes you want to put the book down and WRITE), but the life advice. When we tell the truth in our writings, we’re forced to look at our lives in a more truthful way, at ourselves, at our weaknesses, our desires, at our failings. But before all this truth begins to crush us, Lamott reminds us that with writing, as with life, we should focus on just the task at hand, one piece at a time. In other words, “bird by bird.” (This will make sense after you read the book, so no, I’m not explaining it here 🙂
Read this one if you need some help getting back on the page. Read this one to be reminded of the joy of being on the page. Read this one for its simple wisdom, loving stories, and gentle reassurance.
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