Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird Summary

From the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author: An essential volume for generations of writers young and old. The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this modern classic will continue to spark creative minds for years to come.

For a quarter century, more than a million readers—scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities—have been inspired by Anne Lamott’s hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne’s father—also a writer—in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”

Book Reviews


Bird by Bird and Why to Fly5 star

I’ve written for years about what I thought would be important to me. Songs, poems, short stories, and essays of all types... but when I read this book, Anne gave me, and thus my writing, an identity that I could stand by and be proud of, albeit if only in my mind. She codifies purpose in a writers heart, mind, and soul through a brilliant my tapestry of deeply woven ideas.55


Grateful for this book.5 star

I’ve been half committed to being a writer for the past few years. This book provided me with plenty of practical ideas, but even more it inspired me to dedicate myself to writing every day by reminding me of the value writing can add to a life and the world. I really appreciate the authors gentle, humorous, direct approach. Great read!55


I am rating this book4 star

It was pretty ok45


Very helpful!!!!5 star

I had to read parts of this book for a writing class. I think this is the only reason why i passed. I have a writing phobia and whenever i have to write any thing i reread this if i get stuck. Heck... Lamott is so entertaining I even reread some parts of the book in my free time. Its good stuff.55


THANKS , I NEEDED that!5 star

Yes, I take myself too seriously. Nearly daily I am severely wounded by humiliations, oversights and requests so demeaning my work days feel like a slow, numbing painful death by a thousand cuts. For the last few days, I have guiltily snuck my iPad out during my lunch hour and buried my face into the world of Anne Lamott. It has been a tonic — a terrific, uplifting, reviving experience. She is so transparent and THERE, these lunch meetings feel as if I've been dining with a dear friend. I definitely feel better... and, oh yeah - I"m writing again too. Not out of vengeance (quite yet) but out of a sense of survival. (I feel a sly smile twisting up the corners of my mouth - this tells me the vengeance is coming...) Feeling insecure? Read this. Feeling stuck? Read this. Not feeling anything.... Definitely read this. It may even remind you how to chuckle. (It may even cause you to blast iced tea out your nose and feel triumphant about it.) I am giving away copies like a zealot.55

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