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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Key insights from Anne Lamott's

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life


Key insights from Anne Lamott's

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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9 minutes

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Anne Lamott explains how to write and why you should.

Writing might seem like an impossible challenge. Perhaps you assume that writing comes naturally to all successful authors, and you wonder why your writer’s block feels so insurmountable. In this Snapshot, author Anne Lamott shares her accessible (and often funny) wisdom for getting your ideas onto paper. By taking your writing project one step at a time, you can turn a daily hour of writing into a completed piece. The more you write, the more you’ll discover its many hidden benefits.

Read this Snapshot if you:

  • Are interested in the strategies of a successful author
  • Suffer from a creative block and need inspiration
  • Wonder whether improving your writing can also improve your life
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Introduction

When offering wisdom for the writing process, Anne Lamott likes to recount a story from her childhood. She remembers when one of her brothers had to write a report on birds, but he put off starting until the night before the assignment was due. That night, he sat at the kitchen table, dwarfed by many stacks of dense, ornithological volumes, and couldn’t write a single word. Lamott’s father gave him this sound advice: Just take it bird by bird.

Lamott uses this same basic approach to her work. When writing starts to feel too daunting, step back and break your novel into simple...

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