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[personal profile] alobear
Bird by Bird is a book by Anne Lamott, which imparts her wealth of knowledge and experience as a reasonably successful novelist. It's one of those books, like Stephen King's On Writing, that comes up on lists of books all writers are advised to read. And it's very well written and interesting, with a lot of good tips about how to approach the craft of writing, and also how to approach the desire to be published.

The title comes from a family anecdote about one of Lamott's brothers needing to learn a lot of information about birds for a test at school. His method of doing so is 'bird by bird' which translates as advice to approach writing one step at a time. This is good advice, of which there is a great deal in the book as a whole.

What I wasn't expecting was that the book would be funny. But it really is. Lamott has a wonderfully self-aware and self-deprecating sense of humour about her craft. And she is at great pains to reveal her flaws as both a writer and a person, so as to encourage other writers and let them know they are not alone in their sufferings. She does so in a highly amusing way.

I didn't make a huge number of notes whilst reading the book, as a lot of it is advice I've heard before. But it's always useful to have these lessons repeated, and Bird by Bird presents them in the most entertaining way I've come across thus far.

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