Creative Outlets,  Writing



(and some extras)

It’s fun to post a request for a writer’s favorite books. The responses I get give support to the ones I have read and create an interest in ones I haven’t or have never heard of. This week, I asked

Here’s the list that was generated (in no particular order). How many have you read and/or do you own? Do you have other titles that should be included on this list? The titles that are followed with an asterisk appeared on last week’s list of motivational books. You can check that one out here.

Bird By Bird (Anne Lamott)*

On Writing (Stephen King)*

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (David King & Renni Browne)*

On Writing Well (William Zinsser)*

Real Artists Don’t Starve (Jeff Goins)*

The War Of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Steven Pressfield)*

You Are A Writer (Jeff Goins)*

Plot and Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish (James Scott Bell)*

The Elements of Style (Strunk & White)*

Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story (Ursula K. Le Guin)*

The Call of the Writer’s Craft: Writing and Selling the Book Within (Tom Bird)*

Writing Down the Bones (Natalie Goldberg)

Naming the World: And Other Creative Exercises for the Creative Writer (Bret Anthony Johnston)

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller (John Truby)

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting (Robert McKee)

Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice (Colum McCann)

Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success (Napoleon Hill)

Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job (Jon Acuff)

Anam Cara: A book of Celtic wisdom (John O’Donohue)

Stein on Writing (Sol Stein)

Naked Drunk and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir Or Personal Essay (Adair Lara)

Writing for Your Life: Discovering the Story of Your Life’s Journey (Deena Metzger)

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life (Dani Shapiro)

Overlap: Start a Business While Working a Full-Time Job (Sean McCabe)

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Michael Hyatt)

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen (Donald Miller)

Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams (Jeff Walker)

All Marketers Tell Stories: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All (Seth Godin)

The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life (Marion Roach Smith)

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (David Bayles and Ted Orland)

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (Francine Prose)

The Craft of Revision (Donald Murray)

Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert)

How to Write a Novel: 47 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever (Nathan Bransford)

Writing Without Teachers (Peter Elbow)

Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need (Blake Snyder)

The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know (Shawn Coyne)

Finish (Jon Acuff)

Building a Life Out of Words (Shawn Smucker)

The Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron)


Hemingway’s short stories

Anton Chekov’s short stories

Sally Clarkson

Eric Maisel

James Scott Bell


The Earthsea Trilogy: A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore (Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Miniaturist (Jessie Burton)


Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers & Teachers (Sherry Ellis)

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing (from the Editors of Writer’s Digest)

Writer’s Guide to Character Traits (Linda N. Edelstein)

A Writer’s Guide to Characterization (Victoria Lynn Schmidt)

The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (Martha Alderson)

What other books or authors would you have writers read? Share you ideas in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.


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