The first book about writing I ever read was Bird by Bird, and it just might be the most valuable. I particularly love Lamott’s discussion about “Shitty First Drafts.” You see, I am one of those writers who hates to write. Who always thinks she is unequal to the task. Who always second-guesses her own prose. But Annie says I should aspire to writing a shitty first draft, because only then can I revise, edit, and make it really good. Clearly, you can’t edit if the page is blank. Curiously, when I remember to follow her advice, writing does become easier. Sometimes even fun.
So if you’re like me, run – don’t walk — and read Bird by Bird. If you’re not like me, read it anyway.