©1996 Anne Lamott; (P)1996 Writer's AudioShop
"Lamott reaches out to her audience as if she's addressing an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting." (Publishers Weekly)
"... she shares invaluable nuggets of wisdom about writing and the writing life." (AudioFile)
I wasn't expecting a recorded lecture. I thought this was a book, however it was interesting to hear the author's own voice and natural rhythms of her speech as she explains her values and priorities when approaching writing. Very good.
This is alive talk by writer, parent and recovered alcoholic Anne Lamott. If you're a writer or creative of any kind, or yearn to be, treat yourself. And if you're not, it just might turn you.
"Good motivational speaker"
This is not a "how to" lecture, but a recording of a workshop that encourages wanna be writers to go ahead and write. I found it entertaining and motivational. Ms Lamont is witty and wise on the subject of writing. She sees writing as a means of self discovery and after listening I found myself writng more freely.
This is not really an audio book, it is a recording of a lecture that does ramble on a bit at times. Much of the groud she covers is done more adeptly and more thoroughly in her book "Bird by Bird", which I did find to be very helpful.
You should understand before you spend your hard-earned money on "Word by Word" that what you'll be getting here will not be a book; in fact it will be just another ho-hum recording of a writing workshop (done in 1996?). If you?re into that kind of thing, go for it. Personally, I was looking for something more substantial.
Here we have yet another successful author giving us her valuable advice, recorded as she stands in front of her lectern, riffing live before a decidedly female audience (from the sound of it) and ultimately delivering one of the most rambling monologues -- in the manner of, say, Ellen DeGeneres -- that I've ever heard on the topic of writing.
As a listener, you'll probably get the idea straight away that she's not there to instruct you (she makes that point clear); rather, she wants to encourage you. That's all, just encourage you. She starts off her lecture by imparting her personal belief that in the great "cosmic" scope of things, getting published doesn't really matter (groan). Next she reveals that she doesn't really know a thing about plot points (something she seems to take great pride in, as a matter of fact), so she won't be able to help you there either. Finally she settles into her main role -- that of a motivational speaker.
Some of it's not bad. She manages to keep you entertained, at least. And some of what she says is actually kind of inspiring. (I for one particularly enjoyed her comments on writing "sh**ty first drafts, which was sort of liberating for me to hear.) And for that, I grant her two stars. As such, I suppose that if you're feeling down in the dumps about writing, you might give this two-hour bit of fluff a try; but it's not for the serious student. Don't download it with the idea that you're going to learn anything about the technique of writing a novel. You won't.
This "book" (as other reviewers have pointed out, this is not a book at all, a lecture) is almost an exact and sometimes is an exact replica of Lamott's previous "book" (also not a book, a lecture) Bird by Bird. Both "books" give advice on writing. Some of this advice seems helpful, some are things we've all heard before. But I think it not very nice to market a second "book" that is a duplicate of the first without notice....so boo on you Ms. Lamott and the same to Audible. I felt cheated on several counts!
"Yes for Writers!"
Ann Lamott strikes again. Very inspirational for writers. Thanks, Ann! You always know how to take me where I am and put me back in perspective.
"Funny and wise"
Anne Lamott is wonderful, funny and wise. If you are at all interested in writing you should listen to this. No, it's not about plotting, but it is about life. And the writer's life. And writing about life and living through writing. What else could you ask for?
"All Writers are Weird"
And Annie LaMotte is no exception. But if you're looking for some encouragement to get your fingers back on the keyboard, you won't go wrong with this one. She's terrific. I even went out and bought the paperback of her book, Bird by Bird, which is also terrific. Highly recommended.
"rare instance of author voice actually working"
it's so rare to find a working instance in which audible has used the author as speaker. this is a lecture so it's a different formant, so it's enjoyable to hear AL in her own words. what's unfortunate is that author narrators are used so often and so poorly that I almost passed this little gem by because AL is listed as narrator. after trying to get through a few books narrated by the author I nearly universally give them a pass. authors are not narrators. the two perform very different functions. a good author is not a good narrator.
Brilliant and so inspiring. I could listen to Anne talk about writing for hours. I've listen to this recording various times ... especially when I need encouragement.
"Gives us permission to "Write OUR OWN truth!""
I'm new to Anne Lamott's writing and, yes, I'm a fan! I recently purchased "Bird by Bird" and now "Word by Word." I'm impressed with Anne Lamott's simple, yet masterful, writing and the way she paints her world with words.
This is a recorded talk that Lamott gave at a writing workshop after publishing "Bird by Bird." For me it's worthwhile because, while, yes, it covers much of the same material that she covers in "Bird by Bird" it distills her writing advice while introducing us to her life and family. She also answers pertinent questions asked by attendees on writing topics such as how to write about family members without causing undue pain, when to quit reworking a bit of writing, and how discover details needed to make a setting come to life.
If I were to give Lamott a Native American-type name based on "Word by Word," if would be "Speaks Her Truth"--something that Lamott gives each of us permission to do, as well. I recommend "Word by Word" for those who are writers, those who aspire to write, and those who are tired of remaining silent and choose to live an authentic and "truth based" life--a truth based on one's own beliefs, memories, experiences, and intuition.
Try "Word by Word" if you like, then "Bird by Bird" for more depth--or vice versa. As for me, I'm glad to have both in my library.
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