Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
This little book has been recommended to me several times, and unlike Lamott’s parenting memoir, I found it worth the hype. Its message and ideas are really pretty simple, and not much that I hadn’t heard before, but it was nice to see this wisdom about writing packaged in such a concise, easy-to-digest format. Lamott spends a lot of time talking about the advice she gives her students and the dialogues and exchanges she has with them as she pushes their writing to its potential. It’s easy to see why the book is used so often in writing workshops: it seems so native to that environment. Her advice about publication seems spot-on as well. It’s a kind of love letter from Lamott to her profession, articulating very well what appeals about the arduous life of a writer. There are multiple chapters one could bookmark to reread when facing particular dilemmas. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to write. It is encouragement–it gives courage, and that is what a writer needs most.