RE/VIEW: Anne Lamott

Author Anne Lamott

Sam Lamott

“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 liber …

About the Author

Kathryn Drury Wagner

Kathryn Drury Wagner is based in Savannah. She’s been a contributor to the magazine for many years, and she loves sharing ways to build a healthy, mindful, and sustainable lifestyle.

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