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Anne Lamott

Updated on February 1, 2013

Anne Lamott is a writer on the edge, someone who lets all her wrinkles show and comes up with incredible and hilarious insights. You may not agree with her politics or spirituality (which often seem contradictory), but you may wet your pants from laughter.

Anne Lamott on God

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."

"One of the most annoying things about God is that he never just touches you with his magic wand, like Glinda the Good, and gives you want you want. Like it would be so much skin off his nose."

"The one thing I knew for sure was that if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans."

(From Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)

Anne Lamott on Hope

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

Anne Lamott Fiction

Anne Lamott on Writing

"Good writing is about telling the truth."

"Perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force. Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground--you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it's going to get. Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move."

"Any plot you impose on your characters will be onomatopoetic: PLOT. I say don't worry about plot. Worry about characters. Let what they say or do reveal who they are, and be involved in their lives, and keep asking yourself, Now what happens?"

"Find out what each character cares most about in the world because then you will have discovered what's at stake."

"My students assume that when well-respected writers sit down to write their books, they know pretty much what is going to happen because they've outlined most of the plot, and this is why their books turn out so beautifully and why their lives are so easy and joyful, their self-esteem so great, their childlike senses of trust and wonder so intact. Well. I do not know anyone fitting this description at all. Everyone I know flails around, kvetching and growing despondent, on the way to finding a plot and structure that work. You are welcome to join the club."

"You simply keep putting down one damn word after the other, as you hear them, as they come to you."

(from Bird by BIrd: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)

A conversation with Anne Lamott

"Joy is the best makeup."

(from Grace [Eventually]: Thoughts on Faith)

What's your favorite Anne Lamott book?

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    • TheWritingnag profile image

      Writing Nag 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Definitely Bird by Bird, she is one of my favorite writers!