Positive Writer

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39 Great Books on Writing

Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.

Stephen King, On Writing

Only Stephen King can put the truth into perspective quite like that. He kind of scares me, but then he scares most people. Stephen scares us by telling the truth and as we all know, there’s nothing scarier than honesty.

In this post you’ll find a list of books I’ve put together on writing. If you want to tell your truth, then there are books on this list that will help you do that.

1439156816  On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft  Stephen King

1

0385480016  Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life  Anne Lamott

2

0684854295 Ernest Hemingway on Writing  Ernest Hemingway

3

1877741094  Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity  Ray Bradbury

4

0060919884  The Writing Life  Annie Dillard

5

1585421472  The Artist’s Way  Julia Cameron

6

1936891026  The War of Art  Steven Pressfield

7

0062200445  Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True  Elizabeth Berg

8

1590302613  Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within  Natalie Goldberg

9

B004KAB7FI  Pen on Fire  Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

10

193290736X  The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers  Christopher E. Vogler

11

0060891548  On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction  William Knowlton Zinsser

12

0966517695  The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well  Paula LaRocque

13

0451627210  100 Ways to Improve Your Writing  Gary Provost

14

0615420826  Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing  Cheryl B. Klein

15

1585420093  The Right to Write: Invitation and Initiation.. Writing Life  Julia Cameron

16

B003H4QZOG  Write Good or Die  Scott Nicholson

17

1466256826  How to Speak and Write Correctly  Joseph Devlin

18

B005IURTJC  Write On!  Dan Mulvey

19

0028636945  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Well  Laurie E. Rozakis

20

0470546646  English Grammar For Dummies  Geraldine Woods

21

0767903099  Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose  Constance Hale

22

006184053X  How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One  Stanley Eugene Fish

23

0143036351  Why I Write  George Orwell

24

0553347756  Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life  Natalie Goldberg

25

1590307941  Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within  Natalie Goldberg

26

0874771641  Becoming a Writer  Dorothea Thompson Brande

27

0933377509 Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art, Second Edit     Judith Barrington

28

1889715638  More Writer’s First Aid: Getting the Writing Done  Kristi Holl

29

0380715430  The Mother Tongue – English And How It Got That Way  Bill Bryson

30

0316014990 Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer  Roy Peter Clark

31

1450530001  Writing Lessons Learned: A Book Of Inspiration For Writers  Hope Wilbanks

32

0805070850  Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times  The New York Times

33

B000X1N440  Eats, Shoots  &  Leaves  Lynne Truss

34

1582970874  Write from Life  Meg Files

35

0399533958  Manuscript Makeover  Elizabeth Lyon

36

1582975213  The Little Red Writing Book  Brandon Royal

37

1582974926  Keys to Great Writing  Stephen Wilbers

38

0805074678  The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear  Ralph Keyes

39

More books:

0988523108  APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book  Guy Kawasaki

 

If You Want to Write Brenda Ueland

The No Plot? No Problem! Chris Baty

Structuring Your Novel K. M. Weiland

Sometimes the Magic Works Terry Brooks

The Elements of Style Strunk and White

Add your favorite books on writing in the comments.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Writer's Doubt the Book
  • Marilynluinstra

    Great list. I will be referring to it more than once.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.hutchinson.56211 Bryan Hutchinson

      Glad to hear you found it useful :)

  • http://twitter.com/KVaselopulos Katina Vaselopulos

     Bryan, thanks for the list of great writing books. I began journaling after Cameron’s “Your Right to Write” and  “Writing Diet,” four years ago.  Before too long my words were asking me to give them voice.  It took for ever to consent but now I am almost ready to publish! Where were you one or two years ago? I wish I knew you and Jeff and other Tribers back then. Now I feel I have to publish soon…getting too old to make perfect. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.hutchinson.56211 Bryan Hutchinson

      That’s awesome you are getting ready to publish, Katina. I don’t know about 2 years ago, but what’s important is where you are and what you are doing now, which sounds amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/Robbie_Leonard Robbie Leonard

    Thanks for the awesome list!  Your words always encourage me to let go of everything and just write from the heart.

  • http://growwithstacy.com/ Stacy

    Thank you for this list! There are several that I’ve never heard of so I’ve pinned this post for later. 

  • chrisd

    I’m so glad to see “The Courage to Write” on your list. I try to read it every year. I would also add “No Plot No Problem” by National Novel Writing Month Originator Chris Baty. Another personal favorite is a sweet little book called “Sometimes the Magic Works” by Terry Brooks; it’s like having a favorite uncle encourage you. Another book I try to read once a year.

  • Ben Gunty

    Thanks, Bryan, for the list – very cool. I also suggest If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland, written (I think) in the 1920s. She’s really great and I’ve found the book to be inspirational on many levels.

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