Books about writing. especially those that are done by someone who is very skilled at the process, give you a boost and renew you.
Carolyn See, Natalie Goldberg, Mary Karr, Anne Lamott, Anne Dillard and a few others are all very talented, and it is just a pleasure to read what they write about writing.
Anne Lamott's seems to have been born a writer. I mean most of these talented people loved writing and books from an early age, but she really seems to have been a actual writer at an early age.
Her father was a writer and her accounts of her early life and his influence are a unique side of her. In this book she transitions into her chapters on writing technique from her own life story and the advice her father gave her brother. The book took it's name from that advice where he counseled him to tackle his story on birds, one bird at a time.
Her advice on writing is pretty basic, but it just feels different. It is her ability to offer simple advice in such a easy to read, free flowing style, that is so effective. You find yourself relaxing and just enjoying her language and her perspective on the process.
Some authors seem to put an unusual word or phrase into the dialog to "wake you up", but with Anne she evolves quite naturally from instruction to the language of life itself.
It is a good book and it can help you go back and "sharpen the saw" as Steven Covey would say.
I liked Natalie Goldberg from the first time I read her books. She had me on board when I realized that New Mexico was special to her. I love New Mexico and figure that it is indeed a "Land of Enchantment" but it takes a special person to see that, and they are usually artists.
Natalie brings Zen and Spirituality into her approach to finding creativity. She explores their sources in some unique ways. She looks closely at the processes of daily writing, where you write and even what you use to write.
She sees inspiration as coming from the effort. Not just the result but effort itself. The book covers the basics of writing and does it well.
Finding creativity within and releasing it, is different than seeking it from from outside influences.
This book could be an introductory approach to writing. It discusses some classes she taught for beginners. Looking inside ourselves to find creativity may not resonate with the beginning writer but it will be a real plus for the seasoned writer who goes to this book to get recharged. Natalie is a true professional.
Read both books. Recharge your batteries., Experience good writing about good writing.