“This is a book for writers of all levels, a book for thoughtful authors keen to expand and improve their skills. “



Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird is considered to be one of the best books on writing as a profession. Written in the form of a memoir, Anne’s narrative feels like a casual chat with the reader, over a cup of coffee.

The best thing I liked about the book is that Anne celebrates her imperfections and asks us to do the same with our flaws. I turned the pages expecting some writing advice; instead, I was left with stories about how she too experiences self-doubt and writer’s block from time to time. Then why do so many people, including me, love the book to pieces?

That’s because the book teaches us some of the most basic lessons. Not only about writing but also about life. Beyond the world of recognitions, publications, popularity, and stardom lies the more important world of our very own souls. She gives us the key to enjoy the process of writing and even enjoy the dreaded failure. Because all of this is a part of life!

Let me give you a peek at what’s in store for the reader. There is a chapter on Jealousy and it made me realize that all of us go through the same hell-hole. How we deal with it, makes us what we are. When a famous author talks about her insecurities, bares it all for the world to see, you tend to develop a special kind of respect for her. This is not someone sitting on her pedestal, delivering sermons about how we ‘should’ live or write.

She literally dissects each fiber of her emotions to lay bare the imperfections of her soul. This gives us the courage to feel okay. This makes us feel that we are all in this struggle of life/writing/career, together. We can only hold onto each other’s hands to rise above the darkness created by negativity. In this aspect, the book is almost spiritual. Albeit, in an impossibly fun way.

Being an amateur writer, this book for me was similar to a warm fuzzy bear hug. It made me feel that everything is okay. My fears are okay, so are my jealousies, and every imperfection that I have to deal with. These are what makes me, ‘Me’. I can’t escape this, but I can use it to my advantage. To create, to learn, and to grow.

Even if you aren’t a writer, you’d feel the same way after reading this book. I finally realized why Bird by Bird is touted as one of the finest books on writing and on life. This book gives so much, endlessly. No matter where you are, or what you do, this book has something precious for you to take away.


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Added 30th May 2015