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Bird by Bird by, Anne Lamott


Bird by Bird by, Anne Lamott


Anne Lamott born on 10th April, hails from San Francisco. She is the daughter of Kenneth Lamott also a renowned writer, she grew up with two brothers. Under a tennis scholarship, she attended Goycher college. She was involved in writing the school’s newspaper for two years. She later dropped out of school and returned home where she wrote for Women Sports magazine for a short while and begun writing her short pieces. Lamott is a political activist, a writing teacher, and public speaker. Her books cover topics such as Christianity, single motherhood, depression, and alcoholism. Some of her books including Bird by Bird have been ranked as New York Times bestsellers.

Bird by Bird, is inspired by a piece of advise her father gave to her brother who was working towards meeting a deadline on a writers block and the father advised him to take it “bird by bird” the first thing she advises the reader of the novel is to avoid giving attention to the bulk of work that is unfinished but to give attention to the things taking place at that particular time. They should scribble or type it down and go through it again and again. Lamott goes ahead and gives the writers permission to write crappy drafts at first since these drafts are unavoidable. She expresses that all writers whether an inexperienced or a bestsellers writer has to write crappy drafts at first.

Using the book, she continues to mold writers by advising that when making these crappy drafts one should not even reread or re-edit before they are done writing. She keeps on hammering to her readers that crappy drafts are something that one cannot avoid. Lamott also helps the readers think like a writer. She also acknowledges the fact that writing can be a little difficult too and advises her readers how to get help when the need arises. She also uses this book to give writers reasons to write other than writing to make money or have your book reach the New York Times bestselling list.

This book is interesting to me because it acts as a source of inspiration for any writer who does not know how to begin to write or any writer who is lacking a reason to write. Another reason I find this book interesting is that it gives a writer’s a glimpse of what writing as a profession is. This book inspires me because it gives tips that help a writer become creative when he/she seems stuck. Also, another reason this book inspires me is that it taught me that one can only write about their point of view and beliefs and this way, they are not likely to lack information to write. The fact that she acknowledges a crappy draft also inspires me to write continuously without going back to correct the spelling or grammar until am done.

Lamott uses the craft of symbolism well in her book, at a point she uses an example of broccoli to illustrate listening intuition, she says that one should listen to their broccoli and it will tell them how it wants to be eaten, meaning a writer should listen to their intuition and they will be able to tell their story. In the last chapter of her book she talks of a lighthouse, she uses it as symbolism that some writers can help others write a great story without their knowledge. A lighthouse is something that illuminates the same way a writer can illuminate another thus shedding light on a certain issue. This craft of symbolism has been well used by Lamott.

My favorite passage from the book is the one she quotes Toni Morrison’s quote on freedom. She encourages people to tell their story despite the critics. She uses this passage to encourage writer’s that not everybody will be happy they told their story but that should not deter them from telling it. She encourages them further that they should not be held in bondage by critics or family members. Their story will be responsible for freeing other people.


Bird by Bird is a book by Anne Lamott, a daughter of Kenneth Lamott who was also a writer. She was born and raised in San Francisco. Bird by Bird is among her books which have risen to become New York Times bestsellers. Having been divided into five parts the book is an inspiration and a guide to writers. Using this book, she molds and advises writers on various things such as to write crappy drafts and gives them many reasons to write. This book is interesting to me because it is a source of inspiration for writers who have a story to tell but have no idea on how to begin writing their story. She inspires me by encouraging writers to write crappy drafts of their stories. She uses the craft of symbolism well in her work. My favorite passage of this book is when she quotes Tori Morrison.









838 Words  3 Pages
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