Books On Writing
A friend asked me to recommend some books to help with explaining how to create a story (novel). And as I pursued my collection I was struck by how many books were more about the writing life, the creative life, rather than the more simple craft of putting together a narrative that contains a beginning, middle and satisfactory conclusion.
That said, here are a few of the books currently on my shelves:
This is not an exhaustive list, but rather my own list, from my book shelf at home and my book shelf on Goodreads.
Books on writing written by famous authors
- A Writer’ Diary – Woolf
- A Room of One’s Own – Woolf
- On Writing – Steven King
- Steering the Craft – Ursula K Le Guin
- The Writing of Fiction – Edith Wharton
- Write Away – Elizabeth George
- Writing a Woman’s Life – Carolyn Heilbrun
- Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury
Books on writing by Newbie Writers Podcast guests
- Blog your Book – Nina Amir
- Don’t Write Like You Talk – Catharine Bramkamp
- Shoot Your Novel (and coming, her new book 12 Pillars of Writing) – CS Lakin
- You’ve Got a Book in You – Elizabeth Sims
The Famous Standards
- The Right to Write – Julia Cameron and any other book in the Artist’s Way series that catches your imagination and that you think will help.
- Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg, although my favorite is Wild Mind, Goldberg creates a whole arch of experiences with her books which has been both delightful and instructive to follow.
- Writing Fiction (any edition) Janet Burroway
Some current favorites
- Wonderbook, The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction – Jeff Vandermeer
- Writing Away – Lavinia Spalding
- Writing the Life Poetic – Sage Cohen
Need some group coaching or a class? My friends Nina (non fiction) and Beth (fiction/genre) are offering marvelous opportunities for writers – click below and learn more!
Books to Inspire and focus on creativity, for both artists and writers and for writers who by now should realize they too are artists.
Don’t write like You Talk – Catharine Bramkamp
The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron
Writing Down the Bones Natalie Goldberg
Writing The Life Poetic Sage Cohen
Naked, Drunk, and Writing Adair Lara
SARK is always lively and inspirational, you can take small bites from her work, and either lunch onto something more creative, or just feel better about yourself. She is very affirming. SARK has written many books and has created a supportive on-line community, she will welcome you with open arms!
Creative is a Verb – if you’re alive, you’re creative – Patti Digh
Patti is a great creative cheerleader. Her suggestions for sparking creativity are inspiration and sometimes silly. I tend to relate more to her techniques and style than SARK. Take a look at both books and choose the one that resonates best.
The Life Organizer – A woman’s guide to a mindful year – Jennifer Louden
Comfort, permission and a whole different way to manage your days, this will take you past your every day to do lists. If you are tired of power anything, tired to making sure you maintain the seven habits of success, if you are exhausted thinking about quadrants, this is a nice reprieve.
Creative Time and Space – Making Room for Making Art – Rice Freeman Zachery
Living the Creative Life – Ideas and inspiration from working artists – Rice Freeman Zachery
Both these books are geared toward the visual artist, but I like how Freeman-Zachery invites the reader into the artists world, studio and thought process. If you thought you were “the only one” this book will give you some extra tribe members.
Fearless Creating – Eric Maisel – I love most of Maisel’s books, this one is very helpful for stuck or just beginning artists, including writers. I am not reading the whole thing cover to cover, but I found relevant entries that apply to my own specific situation and you can too.
See also: Brainstorm and Creativity for Life
Creating Time – Using Creativity to re-invent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life. – Marney Makridakis
If you thought the ideas in The Life Organizer were radical, plunge into Makridakis’s book and re-think time and the idea that there just isn’t enough of it for creative work.
You’ve Got a Book in You – Elizabeth Sims
Light hearted and encouraging, Elizabeth encourages writers in a rather new way – cut the crap, cut the angst and just put down @ 200 words a day. Just write. Just like every book we read about writing books. BUT sometimes you need to hear it a few different ways before you are both completely encouraged and completely convinced that you can do it. We interviewed Elizabeth on Newbie Writers Podcast Episode #140.