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

Hello Bookworms,

I’m trying to get some reviews done and posted. Summer has been so distracting and I haven’t had much time to get these things done. I just got back from vacation and I wanted to try to get some reviews done before going back to work. 



“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. [It] 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, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said. ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

With this basic instruction always in mind, Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer’s life. From “Getting Started,’ with “Short Assignments,” through “Shitty First Drafts,” “Character,” “Plot,” “Dialogue.” all the way from “False Starts” to “How Do You Know When You’re Done?” Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses “Writers Block,” “Writing Groups,” and “Publication.” Bracingly honest, she is also one of the funniest people alive.  

If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this book is for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eyes open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.

 As you all may or may not know I consider myself a writer and I always have. From a very young age I developed an affinity for the written word. I loved to read and write, but I had a bigger passion for writing. It was where I spent my time, and escaped to. My goal has never been to be published, but if it happened that would be exciting. To be able to share the stories I’ve written with others and give them a chance to get lost in a story would be great. Maybe one day. I’ve written stories about my life, fiction, short stories, and poetry (which I don’t think I’m very good at), but I write it anyway. This book was given to me by someone I consider my mentor. When I started reading it I knew she understood who I was and how writing affected me. 

Annie Lamott really talks to the reader and writer within you. She gives sage advice to aspiring writers. Lamott talks about the writing and publishing process. She gives the reader an idea of what those processes are really like which include tons of drafts and rejections. In the end it’s all worth it if you’ve written something you absolutely love. I really recommend this book to everyone because I think it will bring the writer out in everyone. Also for aspiring writer because she’s a real mentor and gives great incite which will help you finish that story you’ve been wanting to finish or start something brand new you just thought of.

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”


I challenge all of you to write and keep writing. You will be surprised at the stories you come up with. I will have more reviews coming soon. Keep an eye out and as always

Happy Reading!


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