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Publisher's Summary

Writing, like life, can be a difficult process, you just have to take it Word by Word. Provocative and witty, Lamott takes you beyond her book Bird by Bird and into her "writer's mind". She won't tell you about plot points or how to get published, because, frankly, she doesn't think they're important. Good writing, she says, slows you down, opens your heart, and arrives through your fingers, knowing what it's about. You'll learn how to keep things simple and how to write honestly about life, family, and friends.
©1996 Anne Lamott; (P)1996 Writer's AudioShop

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, 1997, Educational/How-to/Instructional

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

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.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Martina
  • Topanga, CA, USA
  • 05-04-05

Purchase

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.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Feh...

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.

41 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 06-27-12

Why Bother?

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!

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 10-18-13

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keris
  • BlackburnUnited Kingdom
  • 05-23-05

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?

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Highland Park, IL, USA
  • 04-18-06

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not a book, a recording

Loved this recording, but I didn't realize it going in that it was not a sequel to Bird By Bird, it was a recording of a lecture by Anne Lamont talking ABOUT Bird by Bird. Still worth listening too.

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Fantastic Listen!

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.

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  • Overall
  • Richard
  • 04-13-13

Interesting freeflow on writing

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Heidi
  • 04-17-17

A Gift

If you're a writer or wannabe writer this is a rich insight into the habits and mindset of Anne Lamott : fantastic for broadening perspective and looking at things in different ways. Absolutely loved the intimacy of listening to Anne herself talking about her processes. This is a real treat.

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  • Judy
  • 01-19-17

Hilarious and life-changing in equal measure.

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.