There are all sorts of higher reasons to read Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, and if you are interested in having those explained to you, read Maria Popova’s Anne Lamott on Writing And How Perfectionism Kills Creativity or 9 (best) Books On Reading and Writing, both on, of course, Brain Pickings, the best place on the Internet for lovers of words, writers, books, and angst.
The most important reason to read Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird is this:
“Libel is defamation by written or printed word. It is knowingly, maliciously saying things about people that cast them in a false or damaging light. That means that if you lived with a man who had a number of curious personal and professional habits and circumstances that his friends and clients happen to know about, and if these friends can identify this man in your work by these habits and circumstances, you should probably change the details dramatically… However, if he revealed himself… to be a sociopathic narcissist, you can attempt to capture his character and use actual descriptions, just as long as this specific man is not identified by your descriptions. … Make yourself the first wife or the girlfriend, instead of the third wife, and do not include his offensive children, especially the red-haired twins… And the best advice I can give you is to give him a teenie little penis so he will be less likely to come forth.”
I’m so glad someone put it down in black and white. 😉