Lovers of Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird book about her writing life, rush to the DVD store tomorrow. Docurama Films is bringing out Bird By Bird With Annie, a documentary (“portrait” according to the box cover) about the writer, whose Bird By Bird is often listed as one of the favorite books on writing. Look at how many times it pops up in answer to literary agent Nathan Bransford’s question, What are your favorite books on writing?
Lamott is very open and candid in the documentary, by Freida Lee Mock. Mock filmed Lamott in interviews, at book events, at church, during speeches and during personal, quiet moments, such as driving in her convertible.
Lamott talks about her childhood, her former alcoholism and her Christian faith with sincerity. It’s a touching, inspirational story.
She also talks about writing and being published.
“Publication is not any kind of solution. When you get your first book published, you’ll be so much more mentally ill than you are right now.”
Lamott gives advice to laughing audiences, but the advice is good. Like this prayer she says:
“Please God help me get out of my way so I can write what wants to be written.”
One of the things that’s so comforting in Lamott’s book and in this film is that Lamott is just as insecure as the rest of us. Here’s a quote from right at the beginning of the documentary:
“You’re always on borrowed time. None of your favorite writers, let alone your personal selfs, sit down in the morning and just feel great about the work ahead of them. No one sits down and feels like a million dollars.”
At the end of the documentary, Mock has treated her viewers to an entire talk by Lamott, one that’s exerpted in the film, but it’s great to be able to see it all the way through.
Bird By Bird With Annie is a funny, touching and interesting film that any fan of Lamott and her books, especially her writing book, will love.
If your video store doesn’t carry it, tell them it’s from Docurama Films and to order it. Or get it online. Amazon has it, as I’m sure others do.
And if you haven’t read the book Bird By Bird, do. It’s a good one. Again, Amazon has it, as I’m sure others do.