Books About Writing

From the desk in my office I look out onto my backyard, my adirondack chairs (in need of refinishing, but I’m writing so I don’t think about it), the chicken coop, and the tulip tree that hugs a greater part of the house.  It is lovely (essential?) to have an office when you’re a writer, and I have done my best to make it a place where work gets done.  But they say that a person’s office/house/car reflects their brain, and mine is, shall we say, still a work in progress. Well…that’s putting it nicely.  It’s quite a mess.  Except for my bookshelves.

To my left, within reach of my computer, I’ve got rows of books (my first love).  And two of those shelves have books about writing.  Recently, a new writer friend named James Cartee, sent me a list of blogs and books that have helped him in this process of putting words down on paper.  And he asked me to do the same.  So, I thought, why not do it for you?  The three people who have read my blog, whoever you are.

Here are the books, in order of how much I adore them.  Blogs soon to follow:

The Forest for the Trees, by Betsy Lerner

Old Friend from Far Away, by Natalie Goldberg

Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg

Long Quiet Highway, by Natalie Goldberg (Yes, Natalie is that good.)

The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

On Writing Well, by William Zinnser

Plot and Structure, by David Scott Bell (I actually like a lot of books in this series.)

Blockbuster Plots: Pure and Simple, by Martha Alderson

On Writing, by Stephen King (It’s not freaky.)

Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass

As you can see, I’m a bit of a writing advice junkie.  How about you?  Any writers out there?  Which books or blogs help you?


3 thoughts on “Books About Writing”

  1. Bird by Bird is one I always return to whenever I start getting to perfectionist in my own writing (which is most always). And On Writing is, in my opinion, one of the best books about writing and the writing life out there.

    I used to use On Writing Well in my college classes. The students hated it, but it had good, practical advice for them. It is one dry read, though.

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