The Next Chapter·Dog-Eared Reads

Marissa Stapley on how Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird gives her creative wings a boost

The author of Things to Do When It's Raining shares the book she's loved reading over the years.
Marissa Stapley is a bestselling author. (Eugene Choi, Anchor)

Marissa Stapley is a former magazine editor and current bestselling author based in Toronto. Her latest novel is Things To Do When It's Raining

Stapley says a book she turns to for a creative pick-me-up, time and time again, is Lamott. 

"The book I keep coming back to is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It's a writing guide and a life guide. I don't know how many times I've bought [a copy] because I keep giving it to people and I can't bring myself to ask for it back. I know that when you get it and you start to read it and it's what you need, you're going to need it over the years.

"I'll just flip it open to a certain passage and it almost always seems to be what I need, whether it's her humorous description of 'Launch Day,' which is a funny day for an author where everything happens and nothing happens at the same time. The book is called Bird by Bird because you just you have to sit down and write something that's going to be huge. She says you take it 'bird by bird' and just break it down. I have it sitting on my desk and it gives me comfort to have it sitting there with me." 

Marissa Stapley's comments have been edited for length and clarity. 


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