Noteworthy Reads

Once again, I apologize for the lack of organization in this page.  As I add to it, hopefully some sort of system will evolve or just rain down from the heavens upon my lowly blog.  The following books come highly recommended by yours truly.

1.  Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Anne Lamott

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said. ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

I was introduced to this little gem senior year of my undergraduate program.  My lovely professor presented us with what would be my mantra for the year as well as the rest of my life: “bird by bird”.  The book itself is enjoyable to read, has wonderful anecdotes, life lessons, and not to mention some tips on writing.  It isn’t a technical how-to guide, but rather habits and routines in order to help your creativity.  I also fully stand by Lamotts’s thoughts on “shitty first drafts” (chapter three).  Lamott explains:

“For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous.  In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts” (22).

Her rational is that no one ever has to see it.  So, on my own blog, I don’t post first drafts.  I just post sometimes quite hastily revised crappy second drafts.


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