"A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." --Los Angeles Times Advice on writing and on life from an acclaimed bestselling author: "Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"
"Bird by Bird" is among my favorite books on writing-a treasure trove of insight both practical and profound, timelessly revisitable and yielding deeper resonance each time. Lamott adds to the collected wisdom of great writers with equal parts candor and conviction, teaching us as much about writing as she does about creativity at large and, even beyond that, about being human and living a full life - because, after all, as Lamott notes in the beginning, writing is nothing more nor less than a sensemaking mechanism for life" - Maria Popova of BrainPickings.org Blog "One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around." - Anne Lamott Learn the essence of Anne Lamott's world-renowned book through FastReads's 15-Minute Summary with Analysis & Key Takeaways. Quickly soak up the essence of Lamott's step-by-step guide...how to write and how to manage your life as a writer! Book Summary Overview: Anne Lamott sets out to make the reader a better writer by narrating her experiences as an author and her observations as a writing coach. She emphasizes that to improve their writing, budding writers must make a commitment to write more. The focus should not be on getting published, but on learning to write. Lamott asserts that writers can develop great stories by beginning with small details, observing their surroundings, exploring their memories, and following their intuition. She cautions writers of the futility of pursuing perfectionism and acknowledges that all writers make terrible first drafts. Lamott discusses the mechanics that can ease the writing process, including carrying index cards to record ideas, calling experts, and seeking feedback from writer groups. Lamott takes a conventional approach and uses personal narratives to convey lessons on writing. She paints elaborate pictures of her family, friends, and personal struggles. For Lamott, writing and life go hand in hand. In large, the book offers insight into the influence that the author's father had on her attitude to writing. Lamott recalls that when her brother was overwhelmed by a school project on birds, her father advised him to take it 'bird by bird,' meaning one small step at a time. This phrase encapsulates Lamott's philosophy on writing and life. Own your copy today!
Architecture of the Novel is an ambitious blueprint for writers, one that reveals the underlying machinery that propels a plot that is dynamic, coherent, and interesting. Architecture of the Novel derives from the many years Vandenburgh has spent teaching the craft of fiction writing. Her method points to the elemental nature of narrative: A story consists of its events, which are told in scenes.
Wolcott has thoroughly revised the book that has provided a solution to this conundrum as well as inspired thousands of readers with their writing. Using lively examples from his and other researchers' experiences, friendly, practical tips, and a warm, reflective writing style, this second edition has been completely updated and includes new features, such as: Chapter 4 on Linking Up: Provides readers with thoughtful guidelines as to how and where to use theory, what needs to be said about method, some thoughts about the "traditional" literature review (as well as how to decide whether or not to include this material!) Applications: Give readers the opportunity to put into practice some of Wolcott's tips to improve or jump-start their own writing Bulleted Reviews: Highlight the key points to remember from each chapter Read the book that will not only enable you to better tell the story of your research in the article, monograph, or dissertation you need to write but also help you to incorporate writing into the essential role it must play in a professional research career.
From the bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Stitches comes a powerful exploration of mercy, its limitless (if sometimes hidden) presence, why we ignore it, and how we can embrace it. "Mercy is radical kindness," Anne Lamott writes in her enthralling and heartening book, Hallelujah Anyway. It's the permission you give others—and yourself—to forgive a debt, to absolve the unabsolvable, to let go of the judgment and pain that make life so difficult. In Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by "facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves." It's up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere—"within us and outside us, all around us"—and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it's crucial, as "kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all." Full of Lamott’s trademark honesty, humor and forthrightness, Hallelujah Anyway is profound and caring, funny and wise—a hopeful book of hands-on spirituality. From the Hardcover edition.
For more than a quarter of a century, Pat Schneider has helped writers find and liberate their true voices. She has taught all kinds--the award winning, the struggling, and those who have been silenced by poverty and hardship. Her innovative methods have worked in classrooms from elementary to graduate level, in jail cells and public housing projects, in convents and seminaries, in youth at-risk programs, and with groups of the terminally ill. Now, in Writing Alone and with Others, Schneider's acclaimed methods are available in a single, well-organized, and highly readable volume. The first part of the book guides the reader through the perils of the solitary writing life: fear, writer's block, and the bad habits of the internal critic. In the second section, Schneider describes the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method, widely used across the U.S. and abroad. Chapters on fiction and poetry address matters of technique and point to further resources, while more than a hundred writing exercises offer specific ways to jumpstart the blocked and stretch the rut-stuck. Schneider's innovative teaching method will refresh the experienced writer and encourage the beginner. Her book is the essential owner's manual for the writer's voice.
The groundbreaking method that upends current treatment models and “offers collective hope to families of substance abusers” (Kirkus Reviews), helping loved ones conquer addiction and compulsion problems through positive reinforcement and kindness—from the leaders in progressive addiction treatment in the US. Beyond Addiction goes beyond the theatrics of interventions and tough love to show family and friends how they can use kindness, positive reinforcement, and motivational and behavioral strategies to help someone change. Drawing on forty collective years of research and decades of clinical experience, the authors present the best practical advice science has to offer. Delivered with warmth, optimism, and humor, Beyond Addiction defines a new, empowered role for friends and family and a paradigm shift for the field. This new approach is not only less daunting for both the substance abuser and his family, but is more effective as well. Learn how to use the transformative power of relationships for positive change, guided by exercises and examples. Practice what really works in therapy and in everyday life, and discover many different treatment options along with tips for navigating the system. And have hope: this guide is a life raft for parents, family, and friends—offering “reminders that although no one can make another person change, there is much that can be done to make change seem appealing and possible” (Publishers Weekly).
In 1889, the editor of the San Francisco Examiner, having accepted an article from Rudyard Kipling, informed the author that he should not bother to submit any more. "This isn't a kindergarten for amateur writers," the editor wrote. "I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language." A century later, John Grisham was turned down by sixteen agents before he found representation-and it was only after Hollywood showed an interest in The Firm that publishers began to take him seriously. The anxiety of rejection is an inevitable part of any writer's development. In this book, Ralph Keyes turns his attention from the difficulty of putting pen to paper-the subject of his acclaimed The Courage to Write -to the frustration of getting the product to the public. Inspiration isn't nearly as important to the successful writer, he argues, as tenacity, and he offers concrete ways to manage the struggle to publish. Drawing on his long experience as a writer and teacher of writing, Keyes provides new insight into the mind-set of publishers, the value of an agent, and the importance of encouragement and hope to the act of authorial creation.
USE YOUR WORDS introduces the art of creative nonfiction to women who want to give written expression to their lives as mothers. Written by award-winning teacher and writer, Kate Hopper, this book will help women find the heart of their writing, learn to use motherhood as a lens through which to write the world, and turn their motherhood stories into art. Each chapter of USE YOUR WORDS focuses on an element of craft and contains a lecture, a published essay, and writing exercises that will serve as jumping-off points for the readers’ own writing. Chapter topics include: the importance of using concrete details, an overview of creative nonfiction as a genre, character development, voice, humor, tense and writing the “hard stuff,” reflection and back-story, structure, revision, and publishing. The content of each lecture is aligned with the essay/poem in that chapter to help readers more easily grasp the elements of craft being discussed. Together the chapters provide a unique opportunity for mother writers to learn and grow as writers. USE YOUR WORDS takes the approach that creative writing can be taught, and this underscores each chapter. When students learn to read like writers, to notice how a piece is put together, and to question the choices a writer makes, they begin to think like writers. When they learn to ground their writing in concrete, sensory details and begin to understand how to create believable characters and realistic dialogue, their own writing improves. USE YOUR WORDS reflects Kate’s style as a teacher, guiding the reader in a straightforward, nurturing, and passionate voice. As one student noted in a class evaluation: “Kate is a born writer and teacher, and her enthusiasm for essays about motherhood and for teaching the nuts and bolts of writing so that ordinary mothers have the tools to write their stories is a gift to the world. She is raising the value of motherhood in our society as she helps mothers build their confidence and strengthen their game as writers.”
In Augustine and the Fundamentalist's Daughter, Margaret Miles weaves her memoirs together with reflections on Augustine's Confessions. Having read and reread Augustine's Confessions, in admiration as well as frustration, over the past thirty-five years, Miles brings her memories of childhood and youth in a fundamentalist home into conversation with Augustine's effort to understand his life. The result is a fascinating work of autobiographical and theological reflection. Moreover, this project brings together a rare combination of insights on fundamentalists' convictions and habits of mind, as well as on differences among fundamentalists. Such reflections are especially urgent in this time in which fundamentalism is prominent in political and social discourse.