“Folk hero” among writers Anne Lamott revisits her life from writing to sobriety to creativity and her relationship with God.
Among writers, Anne Lamott is something of a folk
hero. Readers love her too, of course, as her work exhibits both her soaring talent and her willingness to be
completely and deeply human. Lamott is the author of
seven novels and many works of bestselling nonfiction.
She released a collection of essays, Dusk, Night, Dawn:
On Revival and Courage, in March 2021.
In her 1994 classic, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions
on Writing and Life, Lamott introduced the wondrous concept of the “shitty first draft.” She explained in Bird by Bird, “For me and most of the other writers I know, writing
is not rapturous. In fact, the only
way I can get anything written at all
is to write really, really shitty first
drafts.” She talks of typing out a
terrible first draft, and how that step
allows the writer to trust herself;
then she can move on to a second
draft, and slowly the whole essay/
book report/restaurant review/novel
becomes coherent and tolerable.
Ideally it becomes something graceful, or hilarious, or meaningful—but
at least something that is worth
reading. These first drafts are what