Genevieve Angelique

Blusher, Writer, Star-Goggles Wearer

Bird by Bird

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Author: Anne Lamott

Genre: Adult, Writing

In a Snapshot: A funny and super honest take on writing and how it affects your life.

Why I picked it up and why I couldn’t put it down:

When I attended Wisconsin’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) fall conference this past year, a panel of authors, illustrators, and editors spoke on their favorite books. Bird by Bird was mentioned by many of the distinguished guests. And for good reason–it’s so good! Brutally honest and yet encouraging, I could connect to Lamott’s discussion on isolation, jealousy, and what she coined “sh%&!y first drafts.”

Who will like this? 

Writers and those interested in the writing process.

Some Favorite Quotes: 

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a sh%&!y first draft. 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.”

“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you.’ This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.”


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