Lemott’s Bird by Bird is one of the most often recommended books on writing advice. After coming across it several times, I decided to read it for myself to find out what so many people love about it.
If you’re looking for technical writing advice, you won’t find much of it here. In fact, the only nuts & bolts advice I found in it involved the ABDCE method (Action, Background, Development, Climax, Ending) of short story writing. I intend to try it out on a Sci-Fi/Humor concept I’m calling The Call Center on the Edge of Forever – yep, I ripped off the title from a classic Star Trek episode.
On the other hand, Bird by Bird deals more with the philosophical and spiritual sides of writing and publishing. Lemott delivers this advice in the form of a humorous memoir. Judging from the number of scathing 1-star reviews on Goodreads, this approach doesn’t appeal to everybody.
I rated this book 3-stars on Goodreads. I was disappointed in the lack of technical advice, but found some bits of useful hints on approaches to writing. I thought Lemott accurately portrayed the struggles a lot of writers have with self-doubt and uncertainty, and appreciated the advice she gave on dealing with those problems.