Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life

As if I don’t have enough solitary interests I’ve always thought I could be a writer. There is just something about sitting at a desk, maybe with nothing more hi-tech than a manual typewriter, concentrating and just writing for hours and hours and then stopping. Of course writers, as they are depicted in films, never struggle with procrastination and seldom never finish their work, unless, of course, your name is Jack and you have a hotel to look after.

Even if I couldn’t remember what prompted me to purchase this book I could see who had been influenced by it. The ‘shitty first draft’, taking notes on index cards, both are clear signs that Merlin Mann has travelled this path before. As the sub-title says it is about writing and life. Times when Anne has written to document personal family struggles, as well as advice that she has given her writing class, are both merged together with a warmth and a wit that makes it a joy to read.

Bird by Bird is entertaining enough to read even if you don’t aspire to be the next Stephen King.

  • Reviewed on Thursday, 09 December 2010
  • Tagged with book review