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The Must-Read Book Club

Chrissy Carter: One of my students, Robin Palmer Blanche, a writer herself, gave me the book as a gift. I thank her everyday for throwing me lifeline into what often feels like the vast, ominous ocean of perfectionism. I find so much comfort in LaMott's words about life and the writing process, which are essentially one and the same.

YCNYC: Favorite quote?

CC: "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you've I'll die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it."

YCNYC: What one person would you recommend this book to?

CC: Women, everywhere. If I could, I'd travel back in time and give this to myself in high school, along with a big loving hug.

YCNYC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?

CC: Every single word. It's a users manual for tolerating the process.

You can purchase Bird by Bird here.

Have a Must-Read book to recommend? Email us here.

—Interview by Allison Richard

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