Bird by bird is a book on writing by Anne Lamott, to say that it’s only a book would be a bit of understatement. It’s a holy grail, and I feel a pinch of pain in my heart because I got to read it so late in my life. The book was recommended to me by my friend Nitin who himself is a writer and blogs @Tidbit. He is also an avid reader, so when I asked him how come he is so regular with his writings, he told me about this very book that is his bible for writing. So, with trembling hands, I picked the Kindle version of the book and started reading it. After reading two pages, I paused to let everything sink in. It felt like as if every single line was sitting there to be discovered and understood by me. Never before, I have highlighted so many passages and lines in a book. I never thought that I would add notes for my future reference in a book, you can, of course, exclude the course books.
I usually don’t re-read my books, what? Yes, now listen to me entirely, first of all, I am a slow reader, I read only a few books in a year, so I try to focus on reading just new books. After all, so many books and so little time to read them all. Also, I have realized that we tend to like books as per our age, sentiment, and stage of life. So, I found only a few books that are universal in their approach and time.
But this time was different, and I knew all along that I would keep coming back to this book. This book has so much to give to you if you are an amateur writer like me, who thinks of writing a book someday. The writer talks about each aspect of writing bird by bird. You will understand this phrase once you finish this book. There is a dedicated chapter for every topic that concern’s a writer’s psyche. It not only imparts knowledge but adds perspective to your writer self. You will realize over the course of the book that what is vital if you want to become a writer. It gives you an insight of all the hurdles or disappointment that one faces on this path. It makes you think of the time when somewhere within yourself, you thought about doing it for the rest of your life, or you had the notion that this is what makes sense to you, or this is what gives you a purpose. Maybe you are someone who hasn’t figured it out yet, the reason behind your fascination with writing. Then this book will make you think about that too.
I don’t want to disclose any of the things or the topics that are discussed in the book, because I want you to dive into this book with an open state of mind. I want you to feel the gamut of emotions that surged inside my own heart while reading it. I hope you find this book as fascinating and as uplifting as me and my friend see it. I hope this book brings some perspective to your writing life.
I will like to end this post with this quote from the book “To be a good writer, you not only have to write a great deal, but you have to care.”
PS: If you have already read this book, then let’s discuss your feelings about it in below comment section.