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Writers on writing.
This foundational book has helped writers overcome their challenges for 30 years. Cameron’s whole-person approach encourages freeform writing every morning and scheduled writing time every day. The book includes inspiration and exercises.
Lamott’s funny and personal book intertwines practical advice and theories of creativity beautifully. Perfectionism is the enemy, according to Lamott, who knows that writing is created layer by layer. A reflection on life and on craft, the book inspires.
Out of all his books, this one might seem an odd place to start. King, though, is not only a master of craft but an excellent teacher as well. This book weaves together memoir and reflections on writing. The result is both a model and a guidebook.
This classic book has helped generations of writers with crafting nonfiction. Zinsser lays out principles to follow as you write in any genre—expository, creative, or persuasive. His number one rule: don’t clutter your prose. Keep it clear.
Pinker has an excellent sense of style, making this book a real delight. He includes examples of good writing and bad, and he explains the difference. The book centers around the many things a writer should consider when putting sentences together. It’s a gem.
Inspired by the relationship between cognitive science and writing, Janzer lays out the reasoning behind common strategies. This slim volume offers practical ways to approach the process. It’s geared toward books but is as useful for essays or blog posts.
While only available for Kindles, this book deserves a read. Khullar Relph isn’t interested in excuses, and she’s not interested in your writer’s block. She wants to move you past all the reasons you have for not writing. No more procrastinating!
Garner is a fantastic writer, and this book on business writing is an absolute treat. It’s full of actual, practical writing strategies as well as advice on style and clarity. Even better, it teaches you to write tighter and more persuasive briefs, memos, and reports.
This short textbook is excellent for those who need instruction in the basics of business writing. Canavor focuses on what to say in everything from résumés to reports, and she shows you how to say it. The book applies to any profession and includes exercises.
Primarily for academics, this humorous, practical book describes good and bad writing habits. Silvia talks about many academic disciplines and many kinds of writing—from articles to fellowship proposals. And he doesn’t ask you to work on weekends.
Zerubavel knows what it’s like to face long, uphill projects. Luckily, he also knows how to manage them. Focus on a practical and organized framework, he writes, and you can achieve your goals. Set priorities, set a schedule, and set deadlines. There you go!
Goldberg thinks of writing as a form of Zen meditation. Its practice, she writes, will overcome self-doubt and unlock creativity. The book uplifts and inspires writers. It’s witty and has lots of practical strategies, and it’s best for more creative work.
This funny and readable book explores the power and possibilities of memoir. Karr, a celebrated memoirist herself, gives you personal anecdotes and excerpts from others’ memoirs. It’s a beautiful book and a necessary one for those telling personal stories.
If you’re going to use just one grammar book, make it this one. Venolia covers everything you’d expect a grammar guide to cover: rules, punctuation, word choice, and style. She focuses on traditional English and wants your writing to be as clear as possible.
Garner’s usage manual is crucial for anyone captivated by grammar and how to use words. It’s organized like a dictionary, and you can look up anything: when to use “fewer” instead of “less,” for example; when to use the subjunctive; or when to ditch formality.
While not a book on your writing, this book is about everyone else's. Quotations from famous authors about their work and practice can inspire and entertain you while you write. It's good fun.
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