Awesome Books for Writers

Looking for some great books for writers? Look no further!

If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for a good craft or business book to grow your knowledge. This week I took a look over all the writing and art books I’ve consumed since I started seriously writing, and I figured why not share my up-to-date favorites list with all of you?

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Writing Craft, Business, and Life

The first category is my favorite books on writing craft, books that teach elements of writing itself or what’s involved in the writing life and business. And boy do I have some excellent (and classic) favorites!

On Writing by Stephen King

This one is, of course, one of the biggest classics! King tells it like it is, in a relateable, down-to-earth voice. In fact, I might be due for a reread!

Bird by Bird by Anne lamott

This is an encouraging and entertaining look at how to write a book. Definitely one of my favorites, and it’s so quotable!

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

This is another classic, a collection of essays by classic writer Ray Bradbury. Definitely some interesting food for thought here!

Wired for STory by Lisa Cron

As a neuroscientist and a writer, I’ve loved this particular book. It delves into the neuroscience and psychology behind elements of a story and why certain things work so well…and how to improve your own writing with those ideas in mind!

THe Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman

This is an excellent overview and must-read for any author looking to make a career from their writing. Friedman goes through things like how publishing works, your publishing and career options, platforms, and more resources for delving deeper.

For Christian Writers

This section is specific to Christian writers, but the books are packed with so much to think about regarding spirituality, mental health, and art and creativity.

Walking on Water by Madeline L’Engle

This is another collection of essays by a classic author. It discusses what it means to be a Christian artist and how faith and art are related.

Unlocking the Heart of the Artist by Matt Tommey

This is an incredible look at how to deal with your issues to become the artist God created and to help you create as best you can. It also does some work to dispel the myth of the starving artist. It’s such a powerful read!

For Encouragement

There are also a couple short reads that do such an uplifting job of encouraging writers to keep going and dream about how what they do affects readers. If you need a lift, pick one (or both) of these up! It won’t take long, and you’ll end up feeling validated, appreciated, and, hopefully, excited to keep writing!

Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl by Laura A. Grace

This book is a collection of letters from a hypothetical fan to you, the author. It covers a range of scenarios and is so heartwarming!

For the love of a word Ed. by Annie Louise Twitchell

Disclaimer: I have a couple pieces in this anthology. But it’s such an encouraging and motivating collection of essays, poetry, and art. Definitely give this one a read if you need a bit of a pick-me-up.

My Upcoming Reads

Finally, I can’t complete this list without addressing a bunch of books on my list that I’m either currently reading or excited to dive into next. I won’t have too much info here, but feel free to follow the links to learn more!

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Romance Your Brand: Building a Marketable Genre Fiction Series

Become a Successful Indie Author: Work Toward Your Writing Dream

Writing the Other

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults

The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write with Emotional Power, Develop Achingly Real Characters, Move Your Readers, and Create Riveting Moral Stakes

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel

Closing Thoughts

There are so many good resources out there for craft, business, and life of a writer! I’m always on the hunt for new, good titles to consume. If you know of some not on my list, feel free to drop them in the comments.

Or, if you’ve read any of these, what are your own thoughts? Did you find them helpful? Let’s chat about it!

See you in the comments. 🙂

My 5 Favorite Books on Writing (and some honorable mentions)

Need some new books on writing? Check these out!

So this is going to be another one of those posts: a post where I discuss my favorite tools of the craft! And I think this is a fun one. You see, I keep a running list of non-fiction books that have helped me in my journey to become a better writer, and from time to time I like to update and share that list to help other writers. It’s been several years since my last update, and I’ve read some really good ones.

So here we go. My favorite books on writing.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King

This was one of the first writing craft books I ever read, and honestly, I feel like every writer should read it. Maybe multiple times (speaking of which, I may be due for a re-read!). It’s considered one of the classic books on how to write, and for good reason. It’s packed with advice on writing (of course) as well as the life of a writer and life in general. And it’s also full of Stephen King’s voice and wit, which makes it an entertaining, as well as informative, read.

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

This is another classic book on writing and another I think all writers should read. Anne’s voice is familiar and friendly and full of tough love all at once, and she really has so many quotable bits on inspiration throughout the book. It was a joy to read this. 🙂

Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron

Back when I was more active on Tumblr (in fact, this came up the last time I updated this list), a follower recommended this one to me. I was in grad school for neuroscience, also trying to write and query my first novel (which is now published), and this book hit all my check boxes for things I loved.

Friends. This book. If you want to know how to write a captivating story – and the biology that makes it so captivating – this is the book for you! It’s full of tips and tricks to engage readers, and there is so much to learn about why certain things work in stories. It’s a fantastic, fascinating, and fun read!

Unlocking the Heart of the Artist, by Matt Tommey

I actually read this one as part of a Christian artist Bible study group (yes, it is a Christian book on creativity).

It blew me away.

It was exactly what I needed at that point in my life, discussing the rich inner life of the artist, discussing the misnomer of “Christian art” (hint: art cannot be Christian, but the artist can. Christian is a description that fits a person and doesn’t need to be applied to objects. You can disagree if you like, but this is my viewpoint.), and discussing all the ways we can set up roadblocks for our creative selves.

This book will challenge you, break your heart, and uplift you all at once…clearing the way for you to become your best artist (writer) self. Highly recommend!

The Business of Being a Writer, by Jane Friedman

So this one I’m actually STILL reading, but it already rates high on my list! This book should be in every writer’s arsenal. It’s the most comprehensive look at the history, current market, and practice of being a career writer (or having any kind of writing career, even if it’s on the side) that I’ve seen yet. It looks at everything from traditional to indie publishing, small press, literary fiction, how to query…and so much more. Definitely a must-read.

Honorable Mentions

This section is all my also-loved books that I highly recommend. These are great to read and keep on your shelf, either as references or bits of inspiration for your writer self.

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by Madeleine L’Engle

Much like Matt Tommey’s book above, Madeleine L’Engle’s book speaks to the Christian artist, also reflecting on her own journey as a writer. She has some powerful words to share, and it so interesting to see some of her ideas behind some of her most famous works!

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity, by Ray Bradbury

This book is a collection of essays that offer both encouragement and some tough love to get serious about your work. There is so much here, and every time you read it, I’m sure you will find something new to pull out and inspire yourself.

On My Own: How to Format Your Ebook and Print Layout in Microsoft Word, by Savannah Jezowski

This one is an excellent resource for indie authors ready to format their manuscripts. It is a step-by-step guide, written in Savannah Jezowski’s familiar and friendly voice, that will walk you through everything you need to get that manuscript uploaded to retailers. An incredibly useful tool to save some money!

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

This is another excellent tool to have at your disposal. It’s an in-depth guide to emotions and how to describe them in your stories, giving you tools to make your characters relateable and realistic, especially if you’re writing about some emotion outside your own experience. I unfortunately got this one right before they updated the edition, but this book is packed full of information on emotions.

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That completes this edition of Selina’s Favorite Writing Books. Do you have any to add? I’m always looking for new ones! (Wonderbook is currently on my radar) Share your favorites in the comments below!