In my seemingly never-ending pursuit of becoming a better blogger, I have collected the top must-read books to become a better writer.
If you’re looking for the best books to read for aspiring writers, you’re in for a treat!
Maybe you’ve been thinking about writing but don’t feel super confident about it. Or you need a little guidance and encouragement in your endeavour.
Below are the most recommended books for writers that you can’t go wrong with.
If you haven’t started writing yet, who knows? One day, you’ll end up writing your own memoir!
Maybe not right now—you don’t even know it—but trust me, it’s on your bucket list. Your subconscious mind is plotting this right now. Ha.
It’s better to be ready when an opportunity comes knocking, right?
It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.
Besides, everyone writes these days, whether it’s a sales report, an essay, an email, or a text message.
Writing is great for improving communication skills, which are crucial to a successful life.
And I can’t help it.
When it comes to a book on writing, I’ve got to start with my all-time favourite.
Oh, if you haven’t signed up for Grammarly, you need it pronto. It’s FREE. It fixes all your grammatical errors as you write. It’s a must-have for everyone, writer or not.
Let’s dive into the best books to read for writers.
Must-Read Books to Become a Better Writer
1. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
by William Zinsser
On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. 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. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sold, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.
2. The Elements of Style
by Strunk and White
‘The Elements of Style’ (1918), by William Strunk, Jr., is an American English writing style guide. It is the best-known, most influential prescriptive treatment of English grammar and usage, and often is required reading and usage in U.S. high school and university composition classes. This edition of ‘The Elements of Style’ 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.
3. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott
Advice on writing and on life from an acclaimed bestselling author:
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”
4. The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition
by Julia Cameron
First published twenty-five years ago, The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. Perhaps even more vital in today’s cultural climate than when it was first published, The Artist’s Way is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In it, Julia Cameron takes readers on an amazing twelve-week journey to discover the inextricable link between their spiritual and creative selves. This groundbreaking program includes:
– Introductions to two of Cameron’s most vital tools for creative recovery–The Morning Pages and The Artist Date
– Hundreds of highly effective exercises and activities
– Guidance on starting a “Creative Cluster” of fellow artists who will support you in your creative endeavours
A revolutionary program for artistic renewal from the world’s foremost authority on the creative process, The Artist’s Way is a life-changing book. This 25th-anniversary edition includes a new introduction from the author.
5. The Writing Life
by Annie Dillard
In this collection of short essays, Annie Dillard—the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood—illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard’s own experience, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions.
6. On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King
Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
These must-read books to become a better writer are undoubtedly some of the best books on writing.
If you’re more interested in writers’ insights, creativity, journey and life than practical advice on writing such as structure, work your way up from the bottom of the above list.
If you want to learn the practical side of writing, start from the top.
Now you’re sorted.
Off you go.
Write that brilliant book of yours (or blog)!
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My Favourite Writing Tools
Grammarly (Free) – a great writing tool. Help you with spelling and grammar errors. It’s SO worth it even if all you do is writing an email or on social media.
BlueHost – get a super easy and reliable hosting plan from BlueHost. They also give you a free domain name for one year. Sign up here and start your blog in a few minutes.
Namecheap – get a dirt-cheap domain name if you change your mind and fancy a new domain name later (like I did).
Tailwind – an absolute must-have for Pinterest to schedule hundreds and thousands of pins and save tons of time. Sign up here and get one month free!
Mailerlite – another must-have to create email marketing campaigns: sign up forms, landing pages, surveys and so on; free up to 1,000 subscribers.
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This is a great list. I have read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and On Writing by Stephen King. Hope to read Nos. 1 & 2 on your list, this year. Thanks again for sharing.