Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions for Writing and Life is a witty and very real look at how to survive life as a writer. In fact, it is not so much instructional, as the title suggests, but inspirational. Her conversational tone and sharp wit puts even the most neurotic writer at ease and her anecdotal stories about her own life as a writer makes her feel like a friend from the first page; holding your hand until you are ready to make the leap into the writing world.
Her tips and suggestions can be applied to any genre of writing. She tells of getting out of your own way in order to write freely but this advice can apply to more areas of life than just writing; sometimes you do just need to get out of your own way in order to succeed.
Lamott offers writers of every skill level practical advice on how to tackle any writing project large or small. She teaches you how to release your inner critic and start getting down to the real nitty-gritty of writing.
She encourages making lists, taking notes and writing horrible first drafts. Most importantly she believes that to truly succeed as a writer, whether you ever publish or not, you must show up everyday to write. She reminds us that there is not a writer out there (maybe one or two) who simply sits down at their desk each day and lets the words flow out of them in perfect form and ready to be published.
Writing is hard work, but if you are passionate about it and commit to writing everyday you can find your voice and maybe, just maybe, share it with others. Lamott’s book is one the reader can return to time and time again for advice, inspiration and a laugh.