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Friday, October 17, 2014

One of the Tools You Need To Be A Writer

One of the things I urged the attendees in the workshop I taught last weekend is to read about writing. Too many new writers plunge right in writing without arming themselves with the tools of the trade. It would be mighty nice if we could decide to write, then step right up to the batter's box and hit a homerun. (Sorry, but with the Royals in the World Series, baseball is on my mind!)

Artists and craftsmen need tools of some sort. For the writer, one that can be ongoing is to read as much as possible about writing. I suggested three books in that workshop that I particularly like. Here's a list of those three and two others for you. I've added links to their Amazon page so that you can scroll down the page and read the reviews and summary. Check your local library or purchase at your favorite bookstore, whether that is a local one or online.

1. On Writing by Stephen King The man knows what he's talking about. His long list of published books should tell us that immediately. Best part is that he writes about writing clearly and has some excellent information to give a new or intermediate writer.

2. Writing Alchemy--How To Write Fast and Deep by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett  Editors of a womens' memoir website, these two women have written an award winning book for writers. This is a memoir edition, but the lion's share pertains to all kinds of writing. It kept me occupied and interested on an overseas flight a couple of summers ago.

3. Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott  You may notice the publication date being a bit old on this one, but don't let that deter you. Anne LaMott is an entertaining writer with good advice.

4. Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress  I read this book a number of years ago, and I read it again a few years later. This newer edition will help the novelist, short story writer and those who write personal essays, memoirs and more. Part of the Writer's Digest series.

5. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron  A highly acclaimed gift book to give to aspiring authors, this one has plenty for a writer to absorb about the writing life and the emotional side. Her famous Morning Pages section is worth a read all on its own.

There are so many others to choose from but these are a few that I especially liked. There are many that are geared to a certain genre. If you specialize in writing for kids, google to find a list of the many books on this subject. Do the same with whatever part of writing interests you most but also read the ones that are a more general all about writing refernce book.

I'll close today with a great poster I found on my facebook page.

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