Writing can be an incredibly daunting challenge. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned writer, creative writing can be difficult and there is always room to grow and learn. Here is a list of ten books that writers should check out to help them produce quality pieces of writing!

On Writing by Stephen King

King’s book is a memoir and a master class on writing wrapped in one. He recounts memories from his childhood, his career and his deep connection to writing. He also gives advice to writers, provides information on mechanics, and a serious and realistic view of writing. As a bestselling author, King’s advice is solid, and his writing is easy to follow and entertaining at the same time.

Buy the book here.

On Writing
Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

The title of Lamott’s book is based on advice her father gave her brother for a school project. “Take it bird by bird,” meaning take it step by step, and that is Lamott’s approach to writing. Her book is a step by step guide, from how to even start, to working through drafts, to finally deciding when you are done. Lamott uses honesty and humor to inform writers of what the writing life is like and how to be successful.

Buy the book here.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

This book is for those who are struggling, whether it is writer’s block, self-doubt, or anything else that is preventing a writer from accessing their creativity. Cameron offers advice for how to overcome the challenges that writers face, and while Cameron may rely on religious imagery, her suggestions on how to recover creativity are universally applicable and have helped many writers find their way back to the art.

Buy the book here.

The Artist's Way
Story Engineering

Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction by Larry Brooks

As the title suggests, this book breaks down writing into the individual parts. Brooks explains the different aspects of writing by showing writers the bones of any good story. He shows the foundation on which writers need to plan their stories on in order to create effective works. Brooks breaks down the big picture of writing into easy to grasp concepts that once understood, anyone, can become an effective writer.

Buy the book here.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Goldberg’s book is similar to that of Lamott’s in that it also focuses on how to unlock the creativity within writers. As a practicing Buddhist, Goldberg opts for more freedom and offers suggestions for the writer to find their own way in overcoming the difficulties they might be facing. Goldberg connects Zen thinking to the process of writing and is an excellent motivator for those in need of letting go a little.

Buy the book here.

Writing Down the Bones
The Writing Life

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

Dillard compiles short essays in this book, all which relate to her personal experiences of writing. Dillard gives writers an honest look into the life they have chosen, the difficulties they will face, but she also offers words of wisdom to help writers push through the toughest of times. She discusses passion and commitment to the craft, inspiring writers to do their best and to take their writing seriously.

Buy the book here.

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

As Prose explains, the key to good writing is understanding good writing. In her book, she goes through works written by the best authors, examining the tools they employ and the ways in which they create timeless pieces. By analyzing sentence structures, paragraphs and other aspects of writing, Prose lays out points of success as tips for writers. She also invites writers to become more apt and critical readers, encouraging them to pay more attention to the words they read in order to be better.

Buy the book here.

Reading Like a Writer
The War of Art

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Pressfield does not shy away from the difficulties of writing. As the title implies, art is a battle, and for anyone to win a battle, they must have a plan. Pressfield focuses on how to fight against any resistance that might attempt to push you off the path you are pursuing. The book sounds like a self-help book, but it is not. It is a plan of action, with tools and ideas to help any writer learn to overcome the challenges that they might face and become the most successful that they can be.

Buy the book here.

Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury recounts his life as a successful author in this book. He discusses how to create ideas, how to find your voice as a writer, and how to develop your writing. Bradbury celebrates the act of writing in his book, and his encouragement to find your own path as a writer is inspiring. His reflections on his own life and works will give writers the spark needed to push forward and to become invigorated in their own creative endeavor.

Buy the book here.

Zen in the Art of Writing
Wonderbook

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer

VanderMeer’s book is focused on fiction writing and is an exceptional aid to writers attempting to tackle the visual nature of fantasy writing. However, the book is filled with tips, essays, and links that will help any writer. Featuring additions from big authors such as George R. R. Martin and Neil Gaiman, this book offers insight into how to write in general, going beyond a specific genre. Beyond being a useful book, it is truly a beautiful one, and it will certainly have writers re-reading it.

Buy the book here.

Anahita Padmanabhan

Anahita Padmanabhan

Content Writer at NY Literary Magazine
Anahita is a rising senior at Emerson College, where she is majoring in Journalism and minoring in Political Science.
She is an avid reader, and never leaves for a trip without her kindle and a couple of books. She currently writes for her school's entertainment magazine and Flawless Mag.
Anahita Padmanabhan