Thursday, April 2, 2009

#5 of 2009: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

There are fifteen single-star reviews for this book on Amazon. I have to disagree with them all.

I’m not going to come out and say this is the perfect book on writing and will be a monumental help for people needing strict literary guidance. It’s not. It really is a self-indulgent, self-centered, rambling little book that careens all over the place while attempting to impart a bit of wisdom on the reader.

It works, though. It really does.

This is more of an author’s memoir than it is another guide to style, grammar and revision. It’s not going to help you with your plotting issues, or your overuse of dangling modifiers, or net you an agent. Not directly, at least. But what it will do is motivate you to keep going, to ignore the nasty voices in your head that slow you down or stop you completely, and it will make you very aware that you are absolutely not alone in your fears and insecurities and doubts.

We are all mentally ill, and it is beautiful.

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