Rebekah P. Brown
Professor Heidi Sura
March 29th 2015
Analytical Essay for Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Today I will be analyzing the effectiveness of the chapters/excerpts given throughout this semester of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I will also analyze myself, and how I use the various tools/tips given by Lamott.
While analyzing Anne Lamotts book Bird by Bird I had to re-read and pick out a minimum of six quotes/excerpts that stood out to me. Many of Anne Lamotts writing really pulls out the aspects of writing that concerns and motivates many writers. All the students had to read the Introduction, Crappy First Drafts, and Broccoli. I will divide the six main quotes throughout this essay along with the tips I received from them.
First I will start with the two excerpts that first really pulled me into Lamotts writing. It started like this, “Later that summer I came to know how they felt, when I read Catcher in the
Rye for the first time and knew what it was like to have someone speak for me, to close a book with a sense of both triumph and relief, one lonely isolated social animal finally making contact.” (Lamott xix) What I took from this excerpt is that Lamott had the same feeling I had when I read books. Making a certain connection that you didn’t know could be there with a book. That a book can give you relief and feel triumph not possible most might think. Like she said it was like an “animal finally making contact.”(Lamott xix) This statement was both descriptive and visual which I really admire of Lamotts writing; a tool I really need this semester in a papers/impromptu I had written.
The second quote I analyzed began like, “I wrote a lot of things, too. I took notes on the people around me, in my town, in my family, in my memory. I took notes on my own state of mind, my grandiosity, the low self-esteem. I wrote down the funny stuff I overheard. I learned to be like a ship’s rat, veined ears trembling and I learned to scribble it all down.” This one really touched base with me. Ever since I was little I used to write everything down I never really knew why. I was just so curious with the world, and what other people did. This has helped me write about so many different situation, and how to write in different styles.
Third I will continue onto the second excerpt given which was Crappy First Drafts. This next quote really stood out to me, “The first draft is the child's draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later. You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page.”(Lamott 22-23) I believe that a first draft can never be perfect which
Lamott emphasizes on through this specific excerpt. That a first draft is where you can get all the flaws out in the paper and learn from the mistake you make when writing.
The fourth quote from this excerpt I admired was, “But because by then I had been writing for so long, I would eventually let myself trust the process – sort of, more or less. I’d write a first draft that was maybe twice as long as it should be, with a self-indulgent and boring beginning, stupefying descriptions of the meal, lots of quotes from my black-humored friends that made them sound more like the Manson girls then food lovers, and no ending to speak of.”(Lamott 24) That as long as I have been writing I need to trust my abilities and make mistakes because everyone had crappy first drafts. Also that I can always go back and change my