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As a writer, I often expect myself to be an avid reader too. I need to always have a book or two that I’m currently reading. If I want to call myself a writer, I need to read what I write. And I need to read about the craft of writing.
For the longest time I felt guilty calling myself a writer because I have never read Stephen King’s On Writing. But that’s not realistic. Although a majority of writers likely have read that book, I’m no less of a writer just because I haven’t.
So today, I’m going to share with you the books I have read, the one’s I’m currently reading, and the books I’m planning to read.
Confessions of a Realistic Writer: What I’m Reading
Book I’ve Read
I honestly haven’t read very many. I’ve studied dictionaries, style guides like Chicago, and usage dictionaries more than I’ve read books about the craft of writing. But I have read a few and they’ve been very helpful.
This was the first book I read about writing. And it inspired my first ever work in progress! This is a great book for kids interested in writing. The author has several books about writing too!
My absolute favorite is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I read this in college and just fell in LOVE with it. She swears a decent amount, but she makes you think about why you want to be a writer and she has so many tips and strategies. She makes writing feel doable. So, if you are struggling to feel like you can be a writer, Bird by Bird can get you through some of those dark days.
This is a great book if you are interested in step by step help. Ron Carlson shares segments of a short story he wrote and breaks down what he did and why. He shows start to finish the creation of a story. Ron also offers little nuggets of wisdom such as the importance of torturing your character. He also suggests not leaving your computer until you’ve written what you’ve come to write! Great advice and great help in this book!
Books I’m Currently Reading
I absolutely LOVE this book! I’m not too far into it, but that’s because it is so full of useful information. I feel like I need to take notes on everything and pause to let the information digest. So, it is certainly not a quick read. But it’s still one of the most useful books about writing I’ve come across. Time and time again, I read part of this book and think, “Yes, that’s exactly what my story needs.”
I am learning so much from Wired for Story. I definitely recommend this book.
I started reading this book, but had to stop. Not because it wasn’t good, but I just didn’t have the time for it. It’s not a book you can just read. It really is like getting your MFA. The author Gabriela has tons of activities and resources for you to do and use throughout the book. So, if you are thinking about going back to school, this might be a good place to start. Or if you have the time to invest in a book like this, this is the one for you. I’ll get around to it someday. I loved what I read, I just don’t feel like I’m in a place to dedicate as much time as this book requires to really get out of it what there is potential to get out of it.
Books on My TBR List
Just because I haven’t read it yet, doesn’t mean I don’t plan to. I own the book, so I’ll be reading it once I finish Wired for Story. There has to be a reason it’s one of the most popular books about writing. I intend to read it and see for myself why it is so great. But I am sure it won’t disappoint.
I loved Wired for Story so much, I didn’t think it was a gamble to buy Lisa Cron’s other book Story Genius. When I get the chance, I will be reading this one as well. I love the way these books explore the way the brain thinks as a foundation for knowing how to create an engaging story.
I listened to a podcast where this book was discussed and the author was interviewed. That was all I needed to hear to know I want this book. I’ve recently started doing a bit of meditation and I really like it. So, when I realized there was a book for writers about meditation I knew I had to read it. I haven’t bought it yet, but it is definitely on my radar. If you like meditation, this could be a great book for you too!
What books are you currently reading and what ones are you itching to read next?