Author Anne Lamott Tells the Truth

Author, teacher, and really funny woman, Anne Lamott has always inspired my writing.  She’s written several booksanne lamott herself, but her most well-known book is, Bird by Bird.  It’s a book about both writing and life.  I know—there are probably more books on self-discovery than there are people interested in really discovering themselves.  But this one’s different.

Anne weaves her personal history (not too much) throughout lessons on writing: character, plot, settings, tone, etc.  She goes on to show how engaging in something that drives you passionately can also save you from your past problems.

All good writers always strive to become better writers.  Anne Lamott reminds us that most of us, in fact, are horrible writers—until we revise and edit.  That can make even dirt shine.

I re-read her book every year and discover something I hadn’t seen previously.  Something valuable.  Beyond her advice books, Anne was asked to speak for a TED Talks program.  It was forwarded to me and I thought you would like it.  She calls it Twelve Things I Know to be True.  If only I could come up with four or more—

Hoped you found it helpful.  Back to her book, Bird by Bird, what does the title mean?

It came from a story Anne told about her brother, while in school, working on a paper about birds.  The day before it was due, he still hadn’t started.  The immensity of the problem and all the work required stalled him.  His father advised not to look at the mountain of work, but to simply start the project, bird by bird.

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About Colin Nelson

Colin T. Nelson worked for 40 years as a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis. He tried everything from speeding tickets to first degree murder. His writing about the courtroom and the legal system give the reader a "back door" view of what goes on, what's funny, and what's a good story. He has also traveled extensively and includes those locations in his mysteries. Some are set in Southeast Asia, Ecuador,Peru, and South Africa. Readers get a suspenseful tale while learning about new places on the planet. Colin is married, has two adult children, and plays the saxophone in various bands.

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