What I Learned From Anne Lamott’s Writing Workshop

Tara Lyn Mallick
The Startup
Published in
5 min readAug 12, 2020

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Anne Lamott/Amy Harrity for The New York Times

“You own everything that you happened to you. Tell your stories.” — Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott rules. She’s self-deprecating, loves to tell stories of transformation, and hates Republicans. She’s like that cool older aunt who is a little bit cranky, but it’s all good. She’s so hilarious and wise that it doesn’t matter.

She writes about things that we all care about: loss, broken relationships, and love. You know, the universals. Her talent is something that I may never replicate, but I’m going to try.

When I discovered that she had written a writing how-to book, I thought I had won the jackpot. Bird by Bird is not only indispensable if you need a kick in the ass, but it’s also entertaining as hell. The thought of taking a REAL writing class from the REAL Anne Lamott was not something I thought would ever happen.

“I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.” — Anne Lamott

Fast forward to last week when she announced on Twitter that she was going to be hosting a writing workshop. I whipped out my credit card and signed up faster than you can say, “TAKE MY MONEY!”

Three hours and eight pages of notes later, here are some of the highlights:

Just Short…

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Tara Lyn Mallick
The Startup

Top writer in #race and #blacklivesmatter | The Startup | Noteworthy | Social worker | Book lover