You may already know this but I recently completed an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and Journalism. You may think I am going to share some of the books from my reading list as part of this books to read now post. Alas, no. That reading list wasn’t really based on books about writing but more on passages from novels and poems that we diseceted to understand the craft.
Why writers need to read
Reading is a large part of being a writer. Like any profession, writers need to continually learn and grow and the best way to do this is to write daily and read often. Reading books from different genres helps broaden your knowledge base but reading non-fiction books such as writing books help develop skills you can use to hone your voice and grow your craft.
What books to read as a writer
I love reading both fiction and non-fiction. Both give great advice for writers of all areas. With fiction learning to structure and tell a great story will help bloggers, novelists and non-fiction writers alike. It will also help poets too. With non-fiction, you learn structure and depth on a subject you may have little previous knowledge of.
5 Writing Books to Read NOW
No matter where you are on your journey to being a writer, the five books I am about to share with you will help you develop your skills and concentrate on your own voice. they will help you develop your own writing schedule and show you how to power through even when you hit a wall.
On Writing by Stephen King
One way we as writers can learn the craft is by seeing how other established writers work. On Writing by Stephen King is a combination of a memoir and a teaching book. He talks about his life and how he started out. He talks about how he writes the first draft and where he writes. All of this is in his own voice and is a really useful insight into how a best selling author goes about his day job.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This is another book that talks about craft but goes about in a completely different way to On Writing. Elizabeth Gilbert had a best seller with Eat Love Pray, which was a memoir in itself. In Big Magic, she explores how we as creatives can unleash our inner creatives through a template of lessons and ideas throughout this book. I wrote a post on 5 Things I Learnt about writing from Big Magic exploring the areas I found most useful as a writer.
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
This book is somewhere in between On Writing and Big Magic. Writing Down the Bones shares personal stories of Natalie Goldberg’s writing life as well as giving instructions on how to free the writer within. It is written in small chapters which makes this book easy to follow, and allows you to put it down and pick it back up again as and when you need to. I have both the paperback copy and the audible version and as a word of warning the audible audio isn’t very easy to listen to so save yourself a credit and just read the book.
Nail your Novel by Roz Morris
Struggling to finish your first draft? Then this is the book for you. I am still currently working my way through my first draft and last year had hit a wall as to what I was doing. I’m not a planner, or at least I didn’t think I was. Yet without a proper plan for my novel, I didn’t know where it was going. I searched the internet for answers to how to plan my novel and loads came up. Then I remembered an online friend had shared the book she had used to finish her first novel. It was Nail you Novel by Roz Morris. It is a step by step guide on how to plan, organise and write your novel. A must for all new authors.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
This was the first writing craft book I read when I started out as a blogger. It has been recommended to me many times since and I also completed a course based on the lessons in this book to help create a daily writing routine. The Artist’s Way is another great example of the author sharing their writing journey alongside tips on how you can fulfil your potential as a writer. One of my favourite lessons from the course is about going on an artists date. A concept I hadn’t heard of before but knew would be perfect to inspire me.
Do you agree, are these the top 5 writing books to read? Which have I missed?
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