Writers & Writing
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Imagine The Elements of Style, but meatier, and for nonfiction. I’ve read chunks of this book but never the whole thing, which is why it’s been languishing on my books I’ve been meaning to read list for too long. (With all these writing books on my list, I need to plan for extra time to write!)

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Writing Creative Nonfiction

Writing Creative Nonfiction

A writerly friend recommended this at FFW last month as a good book for improving my craft as a nonfiction writer. I ordered a copy before I unpacked my suitcase. It’s a compilation of thirty-ish short essays—from Annie Dillard, Terry Tempest Williams, Philip Gerard—focusing on different aspects of the craft. I should start this soon so I can read it slowly over the summer.

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Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together

Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together

$6.99$1.99

I heard Anne Lamott say once that everything she knows about writing also applies to faith, and everything she knows about faith also applies to writing. She wasn't the first writer to make that connection and she certainly won't be the last. Cyzewski explores the interweaving of writing and faith, and specifically prayer in this thought-provoking and genuinely useful little book. The book is written from a Christian perspective (albeit a generously inclusive one), and as the author himself says, "if you're already inclined to both write and pray, you may as well figure out how they can help each other." Indeed.

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Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

$13.99$5.99

The concept couldn’t be simpler: this compendium holds the daily routines of 237 writers, composers, painters, choreographers, playwrights, poets, philosophers, sculptors, filmmakers, and scientists. We glimpse the creative processes of drinkers and drug takers, early risers and exercisers, nap takers and night owls. Some schedules are mundane, others are wildly eccentric. With their contradictory routines, you’ll be assured there’s no “right” way to work. While you could read it straight through, it’s best enjoyed dipping into again and again, slowly over time. A perfect laid-back read: you don’t even need a bookmark.

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

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

$11.24$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Audible)

Prose's insights are terrific. Writers: this is a must-read. Readers: you'll gain insight into how your favorite authors work their magic.

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The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life

The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life

This slim volume (114 pages) is well worth spending an afternoon on. Memoir readers everywhere will thank Roach for her no-nonsense rules for writing your own story: you can write about anything, but just because something happens, doesn’t make it interesting. Have no fear: Roach will help you make it interesting. Entertaining and dead-practical: if you're a writer, you'll learn to write better; readers will learn to better appreciate the genre—and know how to spot a good specimen when they see it.

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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

$11.99$1.99

If you count yourself among Truss’s target audience--the tiny minority of people “who love punctuation and don’t like to see it mucked about with”--this book will make you laugh until you cry. Her chapter on the semicolon (I’m a fan) is my very favorite. Tons of fun for grammar geeks.

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The Getaway Car

The Getaway Car

$2.99$2.51

Patchett realized she wanted to be a writer about the same time she learned to ride a tricycle. In this mini-memoir, Patchett sketches a path from childhood all the way to the completion of her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars. Stops along the way include her college years (complete with fabulous teachers), a failed marriage, the Iowa writing program, and a waitressing stint at TGIFriday’s. You’ll come away inspired to sit down at your keyboard and write.

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Zen In The Art Of Writing

Zen In The Art Of Writing

$10.53$3.99

Bradbury is remembered for his inventive stories and fantastically creative mind. In this essential book for writers, he shares his process and spills his secrets. Bradbury dishes a surprising amount of practical advice for a book with the word "zen" in the title.

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The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style

$19.801.95 (AUDIBLE DEAL)

This is THE classic style guide for writers of all sorts. In their distinctive witty style, Strunk and White advocate for clear, concise, and accurate English. Time magazine named it one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.

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The Contemplative Writer: Loving God through Christian Spirituality, Meditation, Daily Prayer, and Writing

The Contemplative Writer: Loving God through Christian Spirituality, Meditation, Daily Prayer, and Writing

$2.99$0.99

I love Ed's work. He says this guide "helps Christians writers tap into their rich contemplative prayer tradition that includes meditation on scripture, spirituality practices, centering prayer, and fixed hour prayer (such as morning prayer and evening prayer)."

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Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

$18.89$2.95

In Anne's own words: "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.'" A modern classic, and a must-read for writers.

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No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

$9.59$1.99

This is the unofficial handbook for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November. If you're contemplating making a run at #NaNoWriMo, read this now so you'll be ready.

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2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love

2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love

$0.99

From the publisher: "Expanding on her highly successful process for doubling daily word counts, this book--a combination of reworked blog posts and new material--offers practical writing advice for anyone who's ever longed to increase their daily writing output." Add Audible narration for $1.99.

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Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive

Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive

$8.99$1.99

This book shows you how to boost your creativity by learning more about your Myers-Briggs personality type. I enjoyed it my library copy enough that I bought it, and wrote about it in this post.

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Writing Creative Nonfiction
The Art of Memoir

The Art of Memoir

$13.74

Karr unpacks the key elements of great literary memoir and breaks down her own creative process. It’s not just a book for writers: of the book’s 200 pages, only 35 or so are devoted to “how-to.” Frequent readers will also enjoy a peek behind the curtain of Karr's work and that of dozens of other memoirists: what differentiates good work from mediocre, and why do some stories ring true while others falter? For those who'd like to read more, Karr provides a terrific (and long) reading list in the back of the book. This was a great reading experience.

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Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing

Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing

$9.99$0.99

Writers of faith will appreciate this straight-talking guide to the ins and outs of the industry, as well as how to save your soul (and your sanity) from the unusual demands of the writing life.

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