Inspirational Books for Writers

I have a massive collection of books that give writing advice. I’ve read loads over the years. I always borrow any I see in the library and buy any recommended to me by other authors or people in publishing.

I even have a bulging ‘How to Write’ bookshelf. Some books are more useful than others. Some have highlighted passages and those sticky pointers that remind me where the good passages are. Sometimes I read a book and only come out with one piece of salient advice. Other times a book becomes a bible to me and I carry it around with me like a favourite teddy.

I haven’t finished all the books on my shelf but I wouldn’t get rid of any of them in case there is something I can learn at a different stage in my writing journey.

One day I will read ‘Story’ by Robert McKee. I’m sure it’s full of great advice only I’m not clever enough to decipher his writing style just yet.
I find it reassuring to have my How To books at hand. I’ve had to learn how to write and these books have helped me. And I’m well aware that the process hasn’t ended yet. I never stop learning how to write. 


There is one book I like to read every year in those dark days between Christmas and New Year when my SAD is at it’s worst and I’m feeling as black as hell-in-a-powercut. That is Stephen King ‘On Writing’. If you are a writer and you are thinking of giving up, read this life affirming book right to the end and you will return to your writing with a new vigour and realise how lucky you are.

And now there is a new book for me to read every year. ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott is a funny, inspiring set of essays by someone who clearly understands the mind of a writer.
Big thanks to Sara O’Connor whose recommendation filtered down to me through a circuitous route of author friends.
‘On Writing’ and ‘Bird by Bird’ don’t tell me how to write, but they remind me why I write; which is the sort of inspiration I need on those dreary days at the end of the year. I am a writer and just like Stephen King and Anne Lamott I find it hard sometimes. But I love it just the same. 

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