Recommended Reading for Writers

Cynthia Herron Books 4 Comments


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When we decide we want to be a writer, that’s what we want to do—write. Craft. Create.

We’re in that romantic phase.

We’re in love with the idea of writing, the writing world, and our glorious perception of what the future holds for us.

For some, reality sinks in fairly quickly. For others, it takes a while.

Novices march to the beat of their own drum without a care in the world. They refuse to read books about writing or the writing craft, and they shun advice from experts in their field. (And a word here—by experts, I mean those who have the writing chops/history/education/accolades/awards to prove it.)

Not all “expert” advice is good. Not all self-proclaimed experts are. Let the record speak for itself and weigh advice, how-tos, and dos and don’ts accordingly.

Professionals realize there’s still much to learn. As we navigate the path to publication, we understand—as with any job—education is key.

Learning our craft takes time. Patience. Commitment. Resilience.

We must have a teachable spirit and a willing heart.

We must invest in our writing career just as we would any profession. That means attending workshops, conferences, and seminars pertinent to our craft.

It means studying. Honing. Reading.

For pleasure, yes. But also to learn. Always and forever to learn!

I asked a friend if she might have some book recommendations about the writing craft, as well as a blog post about the subject.

And yesJamie Chavez is an expert in her field (do read her impressive bio.) Check out her site. You’ll want to spend some time there. She has answers to most of your questions, even the ones you fear are too silly.

See Jamie’s fabulous blog post–>But Hey, Don’t Take My Word For It…

This post is a writer’s dream and loaded with tons of valuable links, book recommendations, and more.

I’m pleased that many of Jamie’s recommendations coincide with books I have on my own shelves.

Understand I am not an expert. But I do look to trusted sources like my agent and Jamie who are.

The following is by no means an exhaustive list. It would be impossible to list every book I recommend because my list is always growing and ever-changing.

There are, however, some staples writers should acquaint themselves with.

Recommended reading (and must-haves) for writers:

  • The Chicago Manual of Style/The University of Chicago Press
  • The Elements of Style/Strunk and White
  • The First Five Pages/Noah Lukeman
  • Writing Tools/Roy Peter Clark
  • Writing Fiction/James Scott Bell
  • Plot & Structure/James Scott Bell
  • Revision and Self-Editing for Publication/James Scott Bell
  • bird by bird/Anne Lamott
  • On Writing/Stephen King
  • Writing Down the Bones/Natalie Goldberg
  • from the Inside…Out/Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck
  • Romance-ology 101/Julie Lessman (writing romantic tension for the inspirational and sweet markets)

As I said, my list continues to grow!



Reading is necessary in furthering our craft. 12 must-reads for writers:

(Click to Tweet)


Love the Craft, Own the Process (Even When it Hurts)

Is Reading a Must for Writers?

Three Encouraging Thoughts for Your Writing Journey


Trapped by Doubt? Ditch It!

Don’t Compare Your Productive Season to Someone Else’s

Hope: 20 Reasons to Throw Open Your Windows


 What books have you found helpful?

What’s a reality you’ve discovered during your journey?

Here’s to growing, learning, and reading!


Blessings Always,

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