In this final section of her book, Anne Lamott shares the last minute advice she wishes to share with all of her students. She suggests writing about your life, specifically your childhood, even writing out of vengeance when necessary–which is helpful advice for fiction and nonfiction writers alike. A large portion discusses libel, which is defamation by written or printed word; It is knowingly, maliciously saying things about people that cast them in a false or damaging light. A student asked her how she could use her abusive mother as a character without being sued. Lamott suggested changing specific looks, age, or location of residence. She also playfully suggests ways to change characteristics of real people in embarrassing ways, so that they will not claim defamation of character.

“This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.” (231). Lamott’s advice in and of itself is written with expressive ideals. Writing is first and foremost for the writer.


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