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15 Books To Inspire Every Author

To mark World Book Day on 23rd April, I’ve rounded up fifteen of the best writing books to inspire you.

1. You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

Goins shares his own story of self-doubt and what it took for him to become a professional writer. He gives you practical steps to improve your writing, get published in magazines, and build a platform that puts you in charge.

2. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

It’s inspired the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert and Tim Ferris and millions of others to embark on a creative journey for a deeper connection to process and purpose.

3. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

In these short essays, Dillard illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterise the existence of a writer. A moving account of her own experiences while writing her works, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions.

4. Still Writing: The Perils And Pleasures Of A Creative Life by Dani Shapiro

At once a memoir, a meditation on the artistic process, and advice on the craft, Still Writing is an intimate companion to living a creative life.

5. Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg

For more than thirty years, Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. She brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice—"it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind."

6. On Writing Well by William Zinsser

It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet.

7. Handling The Truth – On The Writing Of A Memoir by Beth Kephart

Kephart discusses how a memoir gets made, on what it means to make it, on the searing language of truth, on the thin line between remembering and imagining, and, finally, on the rights of memoirists. Drawing on proven writing lessons and classic examples, on the work of her students and on her own memories, she probes the essential questions that lie at the heart of memoir.

8. Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

A classic guidebook for novices and experts alike, the book is organised into four sections, "Nuts and Bolts," "Special Effects," "Blueprints for Stories," and "Useful Habits," and is infused with more than 200 examples from journalism and literature.

9. Story Genius by Lisa Cron

Written by story coach Lisa Cron, she offers an alternative to either pantsing (winging it) or plotting, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read.

10. The Elements Of Style by William Strunk Jr and EB White

The best-known and most influential prescriptive treatment of English grammar and usage details eight elementary rules of usage, ten elementary principles of composition, "a few matters of form", and a list of commonly misused words and expressions.

11. On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King

Stephen King’s part biography, part writing advice is essential reading for any writer. It’s a practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.

12. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott

A wry, honest, down-to-earth book that has never stopped selling since it was first published in the 1990s. Bestselling novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott distils what she's learned over years of trial and error.

13. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration.

14. From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler

A comprehensive guide to writing creative fiction. Butler, a Pulitzer Prize winner, reimagines the process of writing as emotional rather than intellectual, and tells writers how to achieve the dream space necessary for composing honest, inspired fiction.

15. Pity The Reader – On Writing With Style by Kurt Vonnegut

Thirty-seven chapters of how one American writer brought himself to the pinnacle of the writing art, and how we can all benefit as a result.


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I'm Karen, a best-selling novelist who left her corporate life to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Since then, I've written everything from travel articles to web copy before winning a novel writing competition which led to a 3-book deal. 


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