To Writers



For those of you who write or would like to start writing, I thought I’d make a list of my favorite books on the creative process and creative thinking.  On the days I struggle with discouragement, re-reading from these books is like talking with an old friend:

  • If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland–no loving grandmother could encourage you more
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf–don’t have to read the book so much as make your writing nest and sit there every day
  • bird by bird by Anne Lamott–it’s so refreshing to find out neurotic is normal in writers, and pay close attention on how to silence the critical editor in your head (hint: you’ll need a canning jar)
  • The White Goddess by Robert Graves–remember to invoke the muse
  • Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung–learn to listen to your intuition
  • From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, what he says about trouble is so true: don’t waste time on it


Encouragement is one essential.  Another is instruction in the craft of writing.  I use the  following books regularly to hone my own writing craft:

  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, memorize it
  • The Art of Fiction by John Gardiner, especially chapters 5 & 6
  • Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
  • The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, for fiction
  • Write your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell
  • Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison



Here is a list of writer organizations in which I participate.  My most precious resource, my network of writer friends, is built from attending workshops put on by these groups.  Going back to our original need for encouragement, these are certainly the places to get it and the people to get it from.  

  • SCBWI:  The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators
  • Highlights Foundation
  • Anam Cara Writer’s & Artist’s Retreat in Eyres, Ireland
  • Haystack Writers’ Conference
  • Hugo House in Seattle

From 1596, a book by Horatius Tursellinus, now in the Boulton Library, Cashel, Ireland


A list of resource books I keep at the ready:

  • The Oxford English Dictionary (it includes the origins of each word)
  • The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
  • English Through the Ages by William Brohaugh (includes archaic words)


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