This book was given to me by one of my English professors about eight years ago. How do I know it was eight years? I found the note he wrote to me dated May, 1998 inside the cover. I remember gobbling the book up, after which it rapidly dissolved into the abyss that is my library.
Upon reading Annette’s post mentioning Anne Lamott’s discourse on Shitty First Drafts, I knew it was time to pull this book out again and give her a read. I made it about 50 pages in last night, stopping somewhere in the midst of her section on characters; today I hope to polish it off.
Reading through Bird by Bird again has reminded me of why I loved this book so much in the first place, and how thoughtful it was of my professor to give it to me back in 1998. I am reminded of where I was in my writing, my mind and my life back when I first read it, and how many of those attitudes have changed.
For those writers among you who have yet to read Bird by Bird, I highly recommend you pick it up and give it a whirl. As with anything in life, take what works, and disregard the rest. Read it again in six months, twelve months (or eight years), and see how your attitudes have changed.
For those who have read Bird by Bird, what parts stand out in your mind? Which bits of advice or anecdote have been most helpful, inspiring, or thought-provoking for you? What about this book makes you pick it up again for another read?