Merlin Mann at 43 Folders reminds us that yesterday was Anne Lamott’s birthday. (Unlike Merlin, I’m far too much of a gentleman to reveal her age.)
If you’re a writer — or you just struggle to be — you really owe it to yourself to read Anne’s work, especially her book on writing, Bird by Bird. She offers tremendous insight into the actual process of writing: the agony, the further agony, the ecstacy — no, wait. There’s precious little of that. As Anne puts it:
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.
Now you’ve got to love a writer who can admit that. She’s funny, sassy and a great teacher, no matter what kind of writing you do (or want to do). As Merlin put it so well,
Her tips for writers are practical, real, and stripped of the pretentious quill-pen affectations many of us grew up holding. Everyone I know who’s read her stuff cites it as some of the most inspiring advice they’ve received, and most of us return to it often for a shot in the arm.
A tip of the hat to Anne, and to Merlin for the reminder.