LitStack Pick: The Lines We Wish We’d Written

Bird by BirdSome Instructions on Writing and LifeBird_by_Bird_LR_titlecover
Anne Lamott

Often when I’m reading a book, I’ll find a line so eloquently written, so brilliant, unique, or profound, it stops the story mid-scene and I must read the line a dozen times over, in awe. If I don’t make a note of these marvels of word manipulation, by the time I read the last page and put the book down, I may forget them.

My best bet for a Pick like this would be to give examples from the book I’m currently reading, which would be Bird by BirdSome Instructions on Writing and Life, by one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott. She offers plenty of good lines. Here are a few that stand out so far.

One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore.

While others who have something to say or who want to be effectual, like musicians or baseball players or politicians, have to get out there in front of people, writers, who tend to be shy, get to stay home and still be public.

Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong.

Shitty first drafts. All good writers write them. This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts.

Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.

-Angie Dilmore

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2 thoughts on “LitStack Pick: The Lines We Wish We’d Written

  1. This is, so far, one of my favorite LitStack Picks of all time. I’m definitely favoriting it so I can turn back to these lines and recommendations when trying to figure out which book I need to read next.

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