I just finished reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. I’ve known about this book for about 15 years or so, but only now got around to it. Better late than never.
I’m a big Anne Lamott groupie. Traveling Mercies left me crying so many tears of joy that I eventually placed a box of Kleenex on top of the book, so as to remember to have the tissues handy. I’ve read a couple of other Lamott books, and I’ve never – not once – regretted the investment of time. I’m not saying you’ll feel the same way, mind you. I like feeling good after reading, and Anne Lamott’s prose tends to have that effect on me. That may not be what you look for in a book. And that’s okay.
But here’s the thing about Bird by Bird. Yes, I got a lot out of it as far as ideas and guidance for writing are concerned. But friends, I got so much more out of it where life is concerned. Each time I closed the book, I felt like some secret had just been revealed to me and that there was a new opportunity for me to somehow be a better version of myself. I realize that’s a great big giant statement. And I sincerely feel it in my soul. I can’t explain it any more honestly than that.
I will (probably) never meet Anne Lamott. But I don’t have to, for I have her books. The world has her books. And I am so grateful – to me – for finally taking a little time out of my life to read Bird by Bird. Really – better late than never.