Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bird by Bird, some instructions on writing and life by Annie Lamott.


How did I miss reading this book all these years?
Then again…how have I missed reading all those thousands of books in the library that I barely glance at?  All the wonderful possibilities.
Well, as Annie Lamott’s father said to her 10 year old brother who, after having 3 months to write a paper on birds had procrastinated until the day before to write it… “just take it one bird at a time.”
And that little ditty on the back cover of this book was all it took to pick it up and actually buy it.
Well, yes, it was at a thrift store, but money is tight and I have no qualms about saving $11.95.  Honestly though…it is so well worth full price. Might be a great Christmas gift for some friends.

Crazy, wacky, absolutely stunningly fresh prose…all about the true, shoot from the mouth terrors and tribulations of becoming/ being a writer.

She writes like one speaks.  Seemingly off the cuff, but who knows how many drafts she went thru before publishing.    Great quotes all thru the book about obsessing over what you’ve just written, always thinking in the back of the mind that not another eloquent sentence will ever come across the screen again, frantically drumming your pencil, looking up into the air….
….(Pg 8)  “you may experience a jittery form of existential dread, considering the absolute meaninglessness of life and the fact that no one has ever really loved you; you may find yourself consumed with a free floating shame, and a hopelessness about your work, and the realization that you will have to throw out everything you’ve done so far and start from scratch.  But you will not be able to do so.  Because you suddenly understand that you are completely riddled with cancer.
And then the miracle happens.  The sun comes up again.”
Oh my gosh, what great writing!  The angst of it all! And it is so hilarious but true.  And the best part, she crosses her fingers and hopes to die promises that it happens to all writers…the non-published and the published.

Treat yourself to a great summer read, and maybe pick up a few pointers on writing too.
Thank you, Annie.