Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bird By Bird, by Ann Lamott

This is a book with advice by analogy on the art of writing. Her stories were okay and she does a decent job helping a writer who is still at the stage of not being able to write because of their self doubt on their ability. It helped me in this area as she reminds us to push out those voices when we are first drafting. She empathises we must write for ourselves and says that you can find joy without being published. This is true but she overstates this point in my opinion and provides scant advice on how to publish. Her analogies are how her agent liked her books, but if she's writing to people who are scared to put even pen to paper, why is she giving advice on how to negotiate with your agent before giving advice on how to get an agent in the first place?? I also was not amused by her attempts at humor and advice which resorted to being a bigot against Islam and Muslims. She made a lot of jabs and it was so unnecessary because it was a book about writing and her analogies came out of nowhere. I did not appreciate that and I lost respect for her as a person for having to resort to that.

My advice would be if you are seeking a book on writing that writes to the novice writer but also provides you with excellent advice on publishing would be to read Stephen King's book "On Writing" that is absolutely superb.

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