Book Review: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

book review bird Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird

Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott

Have you ever noticed that Bird by Bird is one the most recommended books about writing? Although I cannot remember where the recommendation came from for me, it is the very first book I read about writing. This is the book where “shitty first drafts’ comes from -I tell everyone that it’s a technical term.

I was just going through the book again just to tell you about the chapters -I actually read it in 2007 -and ended up reading it again. Anne Lamott’s swift, witty, honest and approachable writing style draws you in. You literally hear her voice instructing, encouraging and ultimately inspiring you.

Bird by Bird is not only a step-by-step guide on how to write but it also offers help to manage the writer’s life. Maybe it is more about life than writing but it’s still good. The chapters include:

Part One: Writing

Getting Started
Short Assignments
Shitty First Drafts
Perfectionism
School Lunches
Polaroids
Character
Plot
Dialogue
Set Design
False Starts
Plot Treatment
How Do You Know When You’re Done?

Part Two: The Writing Frame of Mind

Looking Around
The Moral Point of View
Broccoli
Radio Station KFKD
Jealousy

Part Three: Help Along the Way

Index Cards
Calling Aroung
Writing Groups
Someone to Read Your Drafts
Letters
Writers Block

Part Four: And Other Reasons to Write

Writing a Present
Finding Your Voice
Giving
Publication

Part Five: The Last Class