Every one in awhile you read a book that makes you cry.
Sometimes you cry in a good way, sometimes you cry in a not so good way. Sometimes you do both.
I did both when I read this week’s Big Ideas In Books review, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
The first cry was to get the jealousy out. I want to be Anne Lamott. I want to have her humor, her genius, her experiences. I want to write as well as she does and tell stories that make you laugh out loud and stories that hit your gut like a hurricane.
I am an okay writer. I get my message across. Sometimes I write something other people find quotable, but I am no Anne Lamott.
Crying Out Loud
The second cry is more joyful. It comes when you read a story and feel it in your soul. “That’s me!” you whisper, and you read it again, and you wonder how she could know you so well.
Of course, she doesn’t know you. She doesn’t know me. But, she knows writing. And in her book, she shares comments, conversations, experiences that are so familiar, to writers in particular, it brings tears to your eyes.
Yes, this book is mostly for writers. It’s a way of looking at and understand life as a writer. Good writers, writers who cherish the written word and how it’s treated in literature or other book forms (and in blogs, and in articles, and on stupid Facebook), get it. We get it the way a cook gets real butter. Or the way a dancer gets the feel of the floor.
The book, she tells us on the cover, is a book about “some instructions on writing and life.”
(for visuals…and I mean, pictures she shares about HER life, visit her Instagram page which is where the image at the top of this post came from)
So it covers a good bit more than how to write a good opening sentence, or how to deal with jealousy when your not so best friend gets a book contract and you don’t.
The book is rich with the vibrancy of real life. I say that knowing how we writers, and I include myself even though none of my novels have seen the light of day, create real life on paper, out of our own dreams and horrors and laughter and anger.
For the writer who wants to write better, this book is a book you’ll want at your elbow, right there with your Strunk & White.
For the business folk out there, who come to these book reviews to learn more about how to be in small business successfully, you’ll learn how to accept life in all of its facets, enduring the muted grays and greens right along with the vibrancy of loud yellows and reds.
Enjoy. Leave a comment. If you’ve read the book, tell me how you felt about it.
Big ideas In Books with Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
(image from Anne Lamott’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott/ )