Best Writing Books For Writers
Looking for books that will inspire you on your journey to publication? Here are my top 5 writing books...
Which Writing Books Should You read in 2023?
I’m often asked by pre-published authors to recommend the best books on writing craft. I find this tricky, because what resonates with one writer, won’t necessarily resonate with another. I can, however, tell you about my personal favourites!
I tend to steer clear of step-by-step or rigid prescriptive advice. I believe writing is an art as well as a craft and that no two writers will work exactly the same way. Personally, I’m not interested in any advice that advises there is only one way to write a book. That preference might explain why the following are my favourites!
- The Right to Write by Julia Cameron
This was the very first book I read when I decided I wanted to write for publication. It’s a wonderful book all about giving yourself permission to write and tapping into your creativity. I still use some of the methods described in this book when I’m feeling creatively blocked. Unfortunately, I think it is out of print now, although you can still source second hand copies (or possibly digital ones). If you can’t find a copy, The Artist’s Way is very similar and a good substitute!
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott’s wisdom and humour is second to none. This is an immensely readable book, with sensible advice for writers – published or not.
- On Writing by Stephen King
Part memoir, part writing advice, this book resonates with me so much that I frequently reread it. I take heart from King’s tale of his humble beginnings and his belief in his work. I think all writers should read this book!
- These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
A new favourite! Ann Patchett’s collection of essays is not specifically aimed at writers and many of the essays aren’t about writing. However, this is a fascinating snapshot of the writer’s life and I personally found it a compelling read.
- GMC – Goal, Motivation, Conflict by Debra Dixon
I had to include one “actual” craft book! And if you are only going to read one book on writing craft, let this be it! I’m not a huge plotter – I’m a panster through and through! This book was a game changer for me. Once I truly understood GMC it made it easier to keep my stories on track – even if I didn’t have much of an outline. This book is equally useful for plotters as understanding GMC is the key to making sure you have a strong enough premise.
There you have it! My top five picks. I’d love to know your thoughts on these, so feel free to email me via the contact form to let me know.