Penn State

Laura Ax-Fultz - Assistant Director of the Law Library, Associate Librarian, Penn State University, The Dickinson School of Law

Book Title: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Author: Anne Lamott

Book Description:

In Bird by Bird, Lamott depicts the writing process as an intense and consuming, but ultimately rewarding, practice. She wraps her secrets and advice on writing in both dry humor and deep compassion. She gently points out that getting started requires actually sitting in a chair and putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. That writing inevitably results in a “shitty first draft” which may, with lots of work, become something worth publishing but probably won’t be the piece you thought you were writing. While this may seem frustrating, Lamott argues that working through the process allows the writer to reach the deepest truth, which is the point of writing. It’s the kind of advice that seems so obvious once said, but if you don’t hear it, it’s not always so obvious.


I highly recommend the audio version as well. Listening to the book sharpened the humor and made me feel like a friend was giving me personalized advice and encouragement to write.

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