5 Books You Must Read to Be a Creative and Engaging Writer
“Everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say!” — Brenda Ueland
Reading and writing are two inseparable things. If you want to be a better reader, you need to know the craft of writing. Likewise, if you’re going to be a better writer, read more. Not only will you learn about different writing styles and how published writers achieve their success, but books are also a great source of inspiration to boost your motivation and grit.
But what books should you read? Which ones will give you the best writing advice that you can immediately implement?
Well, if you don’t know where to start, we are here to help! Here are the seven best books to read to improve your writing craft and creativity.
1. If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
I know what it feels to be stuck in your writing. How hard it is to get ideas out of your head or to write fluently with confidence. If you are in that phase, reading this book will definitely help. It helps to let your creativity flow and be true to yourself when writing. I even still remember one of the first quotes on the first chapter that I always keep in mind to this day:
“Everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say!”.
In fact, this book is not only good for writing but the whole aspect of life as well. I bet you won’t be able to finish this book quickly. Not because it is hard to understand, but the true context and lines of the book will leave you sitting and wondering about your life very often.
2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
At only 165 pages, this book is short but jam-packed with all the motivation any aspiring writer would need. Steven Pressfield is a bestselling author who uses this book to inspire and guide writers who are having difficulties expressing their creativity.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by doubt, procrastination, and lethargy when writing? Or perhaps you always seem to find ways not to do something.
Here, Pressfield offers unique and practical ways to overcome this ‘resistance,’ the greatest enemy of creative writers.
He discusses every possible reason that you might have ever had not to get something done. You will read about activities, situations, and thoughts you can try to combat these common obstacles. Get ready to put your thinking cap on and feel your ultimate creative self again.
3. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
If the title of this book doesn’t draw you in, we don’t know what will. Everybody Writes a testament that everyone is a writer and that writing matters more than ever today. It’s a guide to attract and appeal to customers through written words, especially in online marketing. The way you write can speak a lot about who you are and how the audience perceives you. It can make you seem fun and trustworthy as much as it can make you look dull and confused.
Whether you’re an aspiring creative or nonfiction writer, you can learn a lot from Ann Handley’s marketing and content creation expertise. From ideation and writing to publishing, she will guide you through the entire process while offering practical advice.
4. Publish. Repeat by David Wright, Sean Platt, and Johnny B. Truant
A big part of being a writer is getting one’s work published. This book explores the best way to combine art and business without tipping the balance on either side. It is truly an incredible book to read for aspiring writers, as you will learn that the business of being an author can be made an art too. Whether your end goal is to be self or traditionally published, you should know how to go about it. There aren’t many who have talked about this, much less anyone who is doing it well. David Wright, Sean Platt, and Johnny B. Truant also host the Self-publishing podcast, something you might want to check out.
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Last but definitely not least is this classic book by Stephen King, perhaps the best-known writer of horror, speculative, and suspense fiction. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan of his actual novels. On writing has been considered the writing bible by many authors. This book details how his love and passion for writing helped him through a fatal accident in 1999, and this story will move any writer.
Not only a memoir, but it is also packed with practical writing advice on style, grammar, and other technicalities. However, King’s straightforward and engaging voice genuinely shines through and makes this guide-slash-memoir extremely clear and easy to read. This perfect combination of anecdotes and writing tips from a globally celebrated author is a must-read for aspiring writers.
Remember that while reading can play a huge role in your writing journey, the secret is not to read as many books as you can. Be selective over what you read, determine the key takeaways from each book, and how you can use that knowledge to improve your craft.