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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Geschrieben von Anne Lamott

Erzählt von Susan Bennett


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Geschrieben von Anne Lamott

Erzählt von Susan Bennett

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (338 Bewertungen)
Länge:
6 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2013
ISBN:
9781470361082
Format:
Hörbuch

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Auch als verfügbar...

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Beschreibung

A New York Times bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction, Anne Lamott was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. As much a guide to writing as an exploration of the emotional challenges of being a writer, Bird by Bird offers a candid and often humorous look at how to tackle these varied obstacles.
Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2013
ISBN:
9781470361082
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

BuchSchnappschuss

Über den Autor

Anne Lamott is the acclaimed writer of more than a dozen books of fiction, nonfiction, and collected essays. Her most recent book was Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. Known for her honest, humorous approach to subjects such as faith and loss, Anne has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, taught writing at UC Davis, and was the subject of an Academy Award-winning documentary.


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4.5
338 Bewertungen / 139 Rezensionen
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Kritische Rezensionen

  • Don't let the blinking cursor on a blank page destroy your will to write your story. Author Anne Lamott stands up to all the demons, like jealousy and writer's block, that have personally plagued her and many writers before her, and she does so with self-deprecating humor.

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Leser-Rezensionen

  • (5/5)
    This was an incredible, enthusiastic piece of work on the nature of writing and life itself. Lamott manages to carve out pieces of her own journey, alongside her soul, to illustrate what it means to be a writer- to exist in that delicate space where no one can destroy you. The writing is fluid and the prose is sharp. There is not a word wasted here, and never one too many. I was thoroughly impressed.Full marks: 5 stars.
  • (5/5)
    Full of quotes that will inspire you, and full of writing realities that are important to keep in mind. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys writing and would like to do more of it.
  • (2/5)
    Firstly, I want to preface that I absolutely, wholeheartedly love Anne Lamott and her spiritual style of writing. Her memoir, Traveling Mercies, is one of my all time favorite books, ever. But for some reason I was disappointed by this book. I suppose I was expecting a memoir of writing akin to those by Stephen King, Norman Mailer and Natalie Goldberg. Parts of the book dragged, and its style was wrapped in a sarcastic, negative view of life, and an even darker view of the writing life. Her voice is also off the wall kooky, and to me, borderline weird, though I'm sure others would beg to differ. Nevertheless, Lamott has important things to say about writing, about plot and characters and structure, all satisfying, but her tone just rubbed me the wrong way. After finishing it, I was left with a strange aftertaste. Small things bothered me, her reference to small-animal sacrifices as a writing ritual in humor (I didn't think it was funny) and portraying aromatherapy as some kind of New Age vodoo practice. It is far from it. The holistic therapy is the use of plant essential oils for numerous health conditions. It's entirely medicinal, no different from the herbs you buy at the natural market. So I can't help but feel that at times she seemed insensitive, or even ignorant (about the aromatherapy, for instance). I expected more from a writer of her caliber. Still, I give her credit for her devotion to writing and to her writing students. She clearly is passionate and committed to the craft and that comes out in her book. It wasn’t for me, but other readers may connect.
  • (5/5)
    Highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to write creatively. Lamott is hilarious and real and covers so many important elements of writing. This was a required read in my English writing class and the entire class love it!
  • (3/5)
    Better than expected.
  • (4/5)
    Get inside a writer's mind and get some advice that sounds true to life and really works!
  • (5/5)
    I've used selected sections of this book in the classes I teach on composition, and I do believe Lamott offers some of the best advice I've ever read on being a writer.
  • (5/5)
    You should read this book. Even if you don't ever intend to write a single word for fun or profit, you should read this book. It is hilarious and heartbreaking and awesome and painful to read, and I did not want it to end.
  • (5/5)
    As books on writing go, this is a little gem. Part inspirational/how to book, part memoir, Lamott has written a book on writing that is, quite simply, a pleasure to read. It has good, practical advice and does make you want to set out and write, but doesn't attempt to provide you with a formula for writing, or to give a set of instructions to follow. Lamott knows from experience that writing is an act of creative inspiration, and there is no blueprint for quality writing. But she does explain ways of accessing the observations and stories that can get locked inside, how to keep going when you feel like no one is listening or reading, and how to persevere.
  • (4/5)
    Ask anyone who writes what books they would recommend, and this one is sure to be on the list. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed On Writing. I did think there was some good advice — taking things 'bird by bird' and looking at the world through a 1-inch picture frame come to mind — and I appreciated her description of what it’s like to be published, but the rest of it just didn’t speak to me like I expected it to. I still would recommend it to those who want to write, and I’ll keep it on my bookshelf, but I don’t think it is a book I will refer back to over and over again.
  • (5/5)
    One of the best books on writing, ever.
  • (4/5)
    Well, either way, Ann Lamott has written a simply put and beautifully thought out tome on wiritng. Not how to write, but how to get your gluteus on a chair and fight through all of your inner and outer demons and put yourself on the pages. To take a bold step forward and reveal to the world who you really are. The chapters are well balanced and are invaluable in the philosophical advice it dispenses. That is the beauty of good writing, the universality of the message is such that you can take the philosophy generally or specifically, which ever way you want to take it, the truisms are true. Lamott is well known as a funny but well thought out author on matters spiritual. She does so with great grace and humor. She is able to tell a great story, dispense great wisdom and still make you laugh out loud. Her main vehicle is her self deprecating sense of humor. After a while though, I can see the punch line coming, I can feel her timing and start to expext a funny, knee slapping aside coming on. It got tedius after a while. If she weren't so predictable I would have enjoyed this book much more. Note that this writing strategy did not mitigate the message, nor did it minimize the ideas or the advice. What it did was to decrease the pleasure of reading her prose. It made it common place when the reader is always anticipating the rim shot. One slight quibble. I would love to give this book to a friend's daughter. She is a bright and precocious little girl with a stellar sensibility for good writing. I think she would love the philosophical content immensely and gain much for her own writing from what Lamott has to say. Unfortunately, Lamott has injected just enough expletives in the narrative to make me hesitate. I have always been told that using expletives is a cheap way to achieve emphasis, to make a point by creating shock value. Lamott is way too good of writer to stoop to using expletives in a writing book just to get her point across. I am sure she can find powerful and effective ways to make her point but she chose to mix in the expletives. I am not disturbed by it but I think she missed the boat by doing what she did because it is delaying her outreach to young writers thirsting for advice and knowledge which she has placed in this book. Overall though, it is quite a nice addition to my library, I will be reading and re-reading her wisdom for years to come.
  • (3/5)
    The book is funny, that's for sure. There were many a time that I shared some passage or other with my wife, who also thought it was funny. As far as writing advice is concerned, it wasn't that profound for me. Yes, I do need to write daily, I do need to write small chunks so that it's not so overwhelming, I need to enjoy writing, I need to observe the world around me, and I have to lock the hope of being published somewhere deep in side. That's what everybody says, more or less. Again, though, funny, full of personal anecdotes and quotes.
  • (5/5)
    It is an encouraging book, and the author has a great sense of humor.
  • (5/5)
    I loved, loved, LOVED this book! Anne Lamott wrote this book as if she were teaching a writing class, but that description only covers about half of what the book is about, as the subtitle hints at with the word "Life." I would consider this book somewhat autobiographical in nature, since Lamott uses her own life experiences to demonstrate how she writes. The descriptions and metaphors were so vivid and on point that they had me at times laughing out loud, in tears, or having to put the book down just so I could contemplate what I had just read. The tips that she gave regarding the writing process were things that any person could both understand and use, whether or not he had any experience or formal education as a writer. Her tips ranged from tell the truth and write about your childhood to find a partner and use index cards to record ideas. She gives wonderful advice about the life of a writer, such as if your life is not enough before publication, then it won't be enough after publication. I know that I will read this book again and again, gleaning her tips, stories, and metaphors like a prospector sifting for gold flecks. I can't recommend this book enough for any would-be writer or even any aficionado of the written word.
  • (5/5)
    i love love love this book! i read it first in high school and have returened to it time and again since then. it is fun, good humored and very helpful to anyone who wants to write.
  • (4/5)
    I picked up this book because I thought it was about birds. Its title and cover art were certainly deceiving. Nevertheless, when I found out it was about writing, I was pleased. I figured I could always use more advice in that realm. Each of us might not have the talent to write well, but we do have the ability to improve our writing. For those of us who want to try our hand at writing, this is an excellent book with which to begin. Bird by Bird is organized in such a way that it is possible to dip into an appropriate chapter based on whatever topic is most pertinent at a particular time. Very easy to read, it dispenses advice in a friendly and humorous manner. The book deals more with the psychology of writing than with its technical aspects, but this is what many people need to even begin.I’d recommend this book for anyone who wishes to write, is uncertain about his or her writing ability, or has writer's block. It has inspired me to try to improve my writing. I’ll now be passing this book along to a friend whom I hope to encourage to begin writing once again.
  • (4/5)
    Any non-fiction written by Lamott is guaranteed to be a pleasure: her voice is so enchanting, and her humor so blackly funny, her books are like a lunch date with a close friend. Bird by Bird has the added benefit of offering excellent tidbits for writers, or anyone needing to follow their inner voice.
  • (5/5)
    I love love LOVE this book! So much so that it's a "keeper". Anne Lamott makes you want to write. While reading this book you feel like you can be a writer, even if haven't written a word previously. She made me laugh out loud numerous times, and the advice she gives has a real, crystal clear ring of truth. Anyone who loves to read and dreams of writing will want to read this book.
  • (4/5)
    LOved this book. Loved the idea of writing and life being much the same journey. Honest.
  • (5/5)
    One of the best books on writing I have read. Anne Lamott gives you a very candid view on the writing process and publication. You can't get any more frank than what is written in this book. I absolutely loved the little stories of Pammy and enjoyed the tales of her son Sam. A very enjoyable and easy read.
  • (4/5)
    Great book, so glad I read it. I'm sure I'll read it again and again. I loved the stories about her son, especially. What a comical child, and perfect material for a book like this.

    I only gave her four stars because her mixed metaphors got a little annoying at points.
  • (3/5)
    Ah, Bird by Bird. After many years of owning this book, I finally read through it, and I have very mixed feelings. Part of this may be heightened because, for longest time, I’ve heard Bird by Bird basically referred to as a Writer’s Bible. It was not this for me.There were certainly moments of brilliance where I felt like Anne was bringing to light exactly what it feels like to be a writer, all the complicated feelings of magical intuition and crippling self-doubt. Talk of trusting in your characters to know themselves instead of forcing the plot onto them. Solid encouragement for facing writer’s block. But these moments were usually hidden in between Anne’s “instructions on writing”, which I rarely felt connected to.I should take the time here to mention that I’m more Plotter than Pantser, and Bird by Bird is written about and for Pantsers. She tells you to just write with knowledge that you could throw out 90% of your first draft. This is not how I write in the slightest, so it was hard to relate to. But for a Plotter, I’m also more of an intuition/inspiration based writer. So, talk of reorganizing an entire book and other technical approaches to writing also didn’t work for me. Unfortunately, as I often have to deal with when reading writer’s tips, Bird by Bird emphasizes the force writing out every day even if you aren’t feeling it. This has never worked for me. It just leaves me with anxiety and a mess to edit later. None of these things are really the book’s fault. Anne’s approach to writing just doesn’t resonate with me. And that’s okay.Bird by Bird often takes a humorous look at the writing journey. This can be enjoyable, but some of Anne’s jokes rub me the wrong way. The funny thing was that, in the first section of the book, I had trouble with the focus of the lessons but enjoyed the witty commentary around them. Then, in the second section of the book, I liked the idea of the lessons more, but she presented them in a very condescending way. For instance, she talks about natural approaches to clearing your mind and trusting your intuition, then apologizes saying, “Believe me, I hate natural solutions.” She’s putting down her own lessons just because they feel too out there and not “sharper, slicker” technical solutions. Several times in the book, she states her technical approach to a writing issue and “jokes” that if you don’t have to do it her way, then you aren’t a good person. Silly, but irritating. I find that Anne sometimes comes off as being a bit of an elitist when it comes to writing. But admittedly, those thoughts have been coloured partly by her online presence and not just the book, itself.The opening and closing chapters of the book are the strongest, in my opinion. They are where Anne mostly sets aside the technical lessons and instead talks about how writing can enrich your life. Why it’s worth the effort whether you are ever published or recognized as an author or not. She talks about her writing journey. And that’s what resonates with me. I don’t need lessons on how to write; I’ve been writing for seventeen years. I need reminders that writing is meaningful and worth all the pain of cutting yourself open and letting your emotions spill out into words.All in all, I still feel like Bird by Bird is a worthwhile read for most writers, especially those just starting out. Even if you discover more about what doesn’t work for you than what does. (Plotters, I’m talking to you.) At the very least, getting this book from your library and skimming through it should help you discover a few lines that make you think, “Hey, someone actually gets my goofy writer’s brain!” Some of those moments are truly magical. I just wish there were more of those moments for me.
  • (4/5)
    Encouraging writing advice with bits of humor sprinkled throughout. Particularly helpful for those writing about their own past or recording family stories. Full of useful tips, plus a few real gems to tape above your writing desk.
  • (4/5)
    A manual for writers but also anyone looking for ways to free the creative spirit within.
  • (5/5)
    Who would have thought the subject of writing and writers could be so funny? Anne Lamott had me laughing out loud while she did what she does best: using her humor to illuminate a subject, in this case writing.Lamott's advice is honest and encouraging and of course, funny. From getting started to publishing Lamott offers simple practical suggestions. Her hilarious observations, comments and disclosures about her own journey as a writer and a human being set this book apart from all other books about writing.This book is for anyone who writes, would like to write or enjoys Anne Lamott's books.
  • (5/5)
    I received a new copy of this for Christmas 2009, and have been rereading and re-enjoying it. This book is the best book I could recommend for any writer at any stage in their career. I also recommend this book to friends and relatives of writers because Lamott is so superb at exposing the inner-mind of a writer, complete with anxieties particular to those who write. Anne Lamott is, for lack of a better term, a "writer's writer," a rare writer who not only writes for the joy of writing, but writes beautifully and honestly.
  • (5/5)
    I just love Anne Lamott and her instructions to writers in this book is positively priceless. Rather than writing a how-to writing tome, she guides us through some of the activities that inform her own writing, many of them now part of my own repetoire as a writer.She's funny, honest, and her advice is spot on.
  • (5/5)
    In Bird by Bird, her 1994 writing guide, Anne Lamott approaches the craft with a near perfect blend of seriousness and humor, never speaking down to her readers, while at the same time reminding them that a healthy sense of humor about themselves is one of the most useful tools in a writer's kit. Lamott may not be able to turn you into the writer you want to be, but she will motivate you to keep plugging away until something happens – even if that “something” turns out to be a lifetime of writing for your own expressive pleasure.Lamott characterizes herself as a shy, strange-looking child who learned to use humor to deflect the taunts about her looks that boys made as they rode by on their bicycles. As she puts it, "So first I got funny and then I started to write...” And it paid off, because in high school the desire of her classmates to see themselves reflected in her stories gained her the kind of popularity she otherwise would never have enjoyed. Anne Lamott's defines her life and who she is by her writing, and she knows that there are countless others out there who feel the same way. Bird by Bird is her gift to those others.Bird by Bird is divided into five parts, each section geared to take the want-to-be writer another step or two toward that goal. Part One, "Writing," focuses on structure and on techniques designed to keep you coming back to the keyboard. She begins with the "short assignment" concept by which a writer focuses on one tiny part of the story he wants to tell rather than allowing the bigger picture to overwhelm him. From there, Lamott covers everything from plots, to the dangers of perfectionism (which she calls "the oppressor, the enemy of the people"), to the merits of using flawed and failing characters, to plot, and finally, to a section about recognizing "when you're done." Parts Two and Three focus more on keeping yourself in "the writing frame of mind" and knowing where to look for "help along the way." Lamott describes the writer as someone who stands alone but decides to take a few notes in the meantime. She points out that a writer is always writing, that no matter what is happening around him, his job is to "see people as they really are," including himself. Lamott promises that simply giving yourself "permission" to begin writing will start you thinking like a writer, someone who sees material everywhere he turns.The fourth part of the book addresses writer's voice, reasons to continue writing (to expose the unexposed), publication (if you are one of the very lucky ones), and the new fears that come with finally being published (such as the terror that you now have to prove that you can do it all again). Lamott calls the last part of Bird by Bird "The Last Class," and here she repeats much of what she tells her writing students in the classroom. Not all of them will become published writers, she tells them, but they should not let that stop them because being a writer will change their lives. Writing will "nourish the spirit," is "Intellectually quickening," and has "the potential to be as rich and enlivening as the priesthood." Above all else, she says, "Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul."If you want to be part of the "noble tradition" of writing, published or not, Bird by Bird may just be the book to get you there.
  • (3/5)
    This was a decent book about writing, but it's about the life of a writer more than about the craft itself. I found her anectdotes helpful, and the book is a fun read, but I don't feel like I got much out of it other than a sense that other people, even published authors, go through the same problems I do.