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on 9 February 2017
It’s funny, it’s helpful, and it is honest; probably the most important quality of all. “I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” Whether you are just starting out, or like me, have been scribbling away for years, you are bound to get something meaningful from this book. So do yourself a favour – don’t pass it by, and of course, it will be all the easier to spot if you quit looking at your feet!
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on 21 April 2016
This is a brilliant resource for new and experienced writers. It contains fascinating insights and quite a few sections I would return to for inspiration again and again. A beautiful book. Highly recommended.
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on 25 November 2012
Beautifully wriiten, honest and funny, excellent and realistic advice on writing. i especially like how she does not separate her life from her teaching but rather lets you right into her heart, right up my street.
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on 27 April 2017
Helpful
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on 11 February 2016
Useful book, beautifully written but could have been more concise.
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on 20 February 2016
I absolutely adore this book. Sure, if you're after a book of writing advice about plotting, dialogue, characterisation, etc, this probably isn't going to help a huge amount. I would recommend 'Novel Writing - a Handbook' or 'On Writing' by Stephen King, for more practical instructions and advice. What this book is really good for - and I would say unparalleled in anything else I have read - is providing inspiration, comfort, reassurance, and motivation. The front cover says tips 'for writing and life' and it is exactly that - I often dip in and out of it when I want a little lift of positivity. It is corny in parts, but I actually love that; reading a few pages injects me with a feeling of being in love with life and with writing. It doesn't tell me how to write a story outline or realistic dialogue; but it does have me chomping at the bit to reach for the pen and get my thoughts down.
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on 24 October 2016
Couple of rips when my copy arrives, and a few annotations but I quite like that, gives the book character.
I've not had chance to really sit down with it, but I've not been drawn in by the writing style yet. Hopefully I will find it helpful once I do make time for it.
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on 23 June 2016
Supposed to be inspiring. Found it really disappointing.
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on 27 April 2017
What can I say about Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott?

I've seen this book raved over by writers far and wide, and by some with whom I've been friends for a long time and whose opinions I trust.

And so I waited and waited for the book to be released on Kindle ... and it never was. In the end I asked for the paperback as a birthday present.

It's a lovely little book. It sums up exactly what the life of a writer is truly like - or at least many writers I know (including yours truly). Granted, we aren't all single parents, or battling depression or substance addiction. But the rest of it?

I literally laughed out loud at some of the asides the author made, while others made me pause for thought.

The author does indulge in stories of her own depression and she comes across as quite religious, so if either of these things are likely to turn you off, then walk away. This seems to be the main gripe with other negative reviews. Otherwise, it's a nice little read.

There are no exercises. This is not a how-to-write book. It's an insight into the life of a writer. And this book will be staying on my bookshelf, and not just because it was a birthday gift. It's a nice, feel-good book to pick up and re-read as and when the urge arises.
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on 4 August 1998
I picked this book up after hearing an audiotape of Anne Lamott talking about creativity and writing. I am not a writer or writter wannabe; I just liked her story telling. In reading "Bird by Bird," I discovered the same entertaining, laugh-out-loud story telling, used to teach her own particular brand of "how to write." It also became clear to me that the principles and techniques she was presenting are universal - they apply not only to writing, but to any pursuit or activity in life. The book is, in fact, a guide to living (intended? unintended? who knows, and who cares...). So whether you're looking for specific techniques for writing (in particular, fiction), looking for an entertaining read, or want to have your thinking provoked, I highly recommend "Bird by Bird." (Incidentally, as a result of reading the book, I was inspired to do some recreational writing...)
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