Anne Lamott is a recovering everything-addict formerly struggling-writer dirt-poor single mother who is now a rich and famous recovering addict and single mother. She possesses a singular concoction of astute social insight, self-deprecating humor, and neo-Christianity. She throws the covers off life’s underbelly while somehow managing to inject hope. She also writes unabashedly about her thigh fat and eating too many M&Ms.
She grew up in a crappy marriage, spent years doing drugs and bad men, and raised her son on her own while writing Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year, which I devoured, in between Luca’s naps that first year, howling with laughter.
To combat the critical voice in my head that told me I coudn’t write, I read her how-to-write book Bird by Bird, which has calmed the critical voices in a zillion other writers’ heads, giving us all permission to write “shitty first drafts.”
When my first marriage broke up and I gradually realized I had left The Terminator, I plowed through Anne’s books on grace, and having faith in impossible times. Books like this one…
She has a new book coming out, Help, Thanks, Wow, and Goodreads is hosting a virtual Anne Lamott Q&A to promote it. She will respond to questions on November 28 and 29, so there’s still time to jump in.
I am also thankful for Anne Lamott because I just learned that she reads gossip magazines, although she says if you call her mid-Enquirer she will tell you she’s reading The New Yorker.
This made me feel so much better about the fact that I have the Gossip Junkie app installed on my iPad, and that I spent about an hour last night surfing TMZ and Radar Online, soaking up every last tawdry detail about the fight between Halle Berry’s babydaddy and her new fiance. I became so overwrought with vicarious PTSD that I will be writing a blog post on the subject later this week.
But back to gratitude.
Today, I’m thankful for Anne Lamott.