Recommended Reading: Bird By Bird

Working a night shift today – so I don’t have time to post anything of value – but I tripped over this blog entry and I really enjoyed reading BIRD BY BIRD, so much that I read it twice.

Have a happy Sunday, folks.

The Daily Post

I referenced Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions in Writing and Life in last week’s “Five Posts to Write Right Now,” and we’ve used her in Blogging 101 assignments as well. Personally, I turn to this book again and again — when I’m staring down a blank screen and a deadline or feeling just not good enough, flipping to any page usually restores my perspective and helps unclog my thorniest word-jam.

The story of the book’s title sums it up perfectly:

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, which 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…

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2 responses to “Recommended Reading: Bird By Bird

  1. I’m going back and listening to all the Self-Publishing Podcast episodes and this book was mentioned in one of the first ones. I believe it was Sean Platt and he wasn’t overly fond of it, though he did like the thought Bird by Bird. Of course they also freaking love On Writing by Stephen King and I was probably the only writer in the world that didn’t think it was the best thing since sliced bread so I’ve added Bird by Bird to my to read list. lol sorry for the long/random comment


    • Yup – well, BIRD BY BIRD is kind of weird self-help writing book in that you have to sort of soak up the instructional material between pages and pages of “This is how my life played out” blather. Mind you, the blather is pretty funny and entertaining if you dig that whole Woody Allen – Ellen DeGeneres self-deprecatory style of humor.


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