If you search "writing" on Amazon, you will discover approximately 4.25 trillion books dedicated to the subject of writing.
As one who has read many of these books, I can testify that MOST of these books are absolute DRIVEL. Seriously. They're terrible and of NO help when it comes to actually trying to write a book. What's funny is that if you do a Google search on these authors, you'll find that many of them have only written books...about writing. That's it. Nothing else.
That is ludicrous. I'd like to propose a new law that, if passed by Congress, would make it illegal to write a book about writing if all you've ever written is books about writing.
But there are a few books that stand out amongst all the drivel and detritus. There are a few gems amidst the coal. There are 5 books that EVERY writer should read.
Do you want to write your own book? Have you been dreaming about a book for years? I'd love to help you write your book!
Those books are:
On Writing by Stephen King. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. He knows what it takes to write a book. He's written over 50 best-sellers. If anyone is qualified to write about writing, it's King.
This book is incredibly practical and inspiring. It dives deep into the nitty gritty of writing while also talking about some of the higher, theory-type issues that most writers encounter. You really, really should read this book
Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. This book is probably the most encouraging book I've ever read on the discipline of writing. Simultaneously hilarious, insightful, and practical, this book allows the reader grapple with the challenges of writing in a realistic way. She also has incredibly helpful exercises for making real progress in writing a book.
On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I owe much of my clarity in writing to this enormously helpful book. Zinsser helps authors find their voice, declutter their language, and learn to write in clear, compelling ways. With so much fluff and drivel being written, this is a must read for writers.
Daily Rituals By Mason Currey. While not exclusively about writing, this a book every writer MUST read. Currey goes through history and examines the creative habits of some of the greatest artists ever. He examines the writing habits of people like Hemingway and Faulkner and Anne Rice. This book will deeply inspire you to create creative habits in your life.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. Like Daily Rituals, this book isn't exclusively about writing, but every writer most certainly should read it. Kleon masterfully shows how all artists borrow from other artists, and how this is actually a good thing. It frees artists from always feeling like they need to be completely original in their work. This is perfect for writers hindered by the thought that their ideas aren't original enough.
If you want to write YOUR book, I'd love to have you be part of my "Write Your Book" course. In the course, you get to interact with me and other passionate authors over subjects just like this.
Now go out and get reading...and writing!