STOP! PUT THAT DOWN! You do not… need… the how-to… book…
How-to books are dangerous because it feels like you’re writing. But how-to books are not going to make you a better writer. You know what will? Writing.
Now, if you’re reading how-tos because you need to feel inspired, energized, then I’d recommend the following books. (These are only to be read after you’ve done a good days’ work of writing, of course) Feel free to add any biographies of your favourite writers to the list.
For Writers Only
By Sophy Burnham
My mom gave me this book when I was a teenager. With chapter titles like as “On Knowing You’re A Writer” and “Walking Around Time”, you’re sure to feel a sense of community within these pages. (Thanks, Mom)
Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood
Edited by Shannon Cowan, Fiona Tinwei Lam, and Cathy Stonehouse
Speaking of moms…
This book is a phenomenal collection of essays written by women trying to balance two of the hardest jobs in the world. Mom or not, you should give it a read.
The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists: Insider Secrets from Top Writers
By Andrew McAleer
There are a few how-to tips in this one, but there are also sections like “Believing You’re Talented Enough” and “Making Sacrifices to Write”. Most of the contributors are mystery and crime writers, but you will identify with their advice no matter what genre you write in.