The last post on Dorothea Brand got me thinking about books on writing and I had a look at my shelves to see how many books about writing I actually had and how many I’d found useful.
Like a lot of writers, I probably have quite a few. Some I’ve bought, some have been presents and most I’ve never read.
If you check out the link below from the Gotham writing school in NYC there has to be over 50 books they recommend for the writer’s bookshelf. The problem I have with all of these books is that if you spend time reading them all, when are you actually writing? And to pose a Carrie Bradshaw type question: ‘Is buying books about writing the ultimate in procrastination for a writer?’
For me, of the fifteen or so books about writing on my shelves, there were 4 I found really useful:
On Writing by Steven King – I just loved this book because he makes writing so ordinary, a job like any other. He compares it to laying pipes! A good reminder not to get too carried away I think…
Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brand – I mentioned this on my Sunday post. This book is over 50 years old but still full of really sound advice. If you’re stuck on something go do something physical – weed the garden, go for a run. Works for me.
The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook – for when you get to the sending out stage, deciding who to target agent and publisher wise.
The Resilient Writer, compiled by Catherine Wald – the most useful book for me of all, a collection of essays on rejection from well known writers. Kept me going through the whole ‘doing the rounds’ stage and would highly recommend it.
So just wondered what anyone else thought? Any books you’d highly recommend? The one I’m thinking about getting is ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott. Thinking about it, it’s ages since I’ve bought a writing book, about 2 years. Funny how it coincides with my imminent writing trip to work on novel number 2, I hope I don’t hear anyone think the ‘P’ word…