Writing Down the Bones:
Freeing the Writer Within
By Natalie Goldberg In her first book on writing, creativity guru Natalie
Goldberg teaches us how to free ourselves from the rigid writing
rules we learned in school that restrain our creativity. Through
a series of her trademark "timed writing" exercises, Goldberg
teaches, "Keep your hand moving.... Don't cross out.... Lose
control.... Go for the jugular." She helps us understand why
we censor ourselves when we write, and teaches us to break this
habit. This book does not teach you to write polished prose. It
teaches something much more important -- to write honestly and fearlessly,
getting your deepest, first thoughts down on paper.
Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life
By Natalie Goldberg In her second book, Goldberg draws from her interest
in Zen Buddhism with a series of essays and exercises to help us
tap deeper into what we really want to say. She looks at the psychology
of writing, tackling writer's block, exploring the solitude that
comes with writing, and teaching us to tap our minds, which are
"raw, full of energy, alive, and hungry."
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing
By Anne Lamott Bird by Bird has nothing to do with birds. The title
is a great example of Lamott's endearing quirkiness, and her courage
to get crazy when she writes. With a brilliant sense of humor, Lamott
explores the serious frustrations we face as writers and as humans.
She is a vivid storyteller, and draws heavily on experiences in
her own life in this book that will teach you not just to become
a better writer, but a happier one as well. She comes across more
as a friend than a teacher, sharing her experiences as a once-awkward
child who found her powerful voice through writing.
Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction,
and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life
By Bonnie Friedman Another great book on the psychology of being a writer.
Bonnie Friedman looks at the frustrations writers face, and offers
suggestions for how to overcome them and be more productive. She
covers topics such as why we become so easily distracted when we
sit down to write, the awkwardness of writing about people we know,
and how to cope with the common feeling of envy when we read someone
else's work in print and think, "I could have done that."
This is an excellent follow-up book to Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to
By Julie Cameron Julia Cameron believes we all posess a natural creativity;
however, many of us have become "creatively blocked" by
fear, jealousy, perfectionism, guilt, and other self-defeating thoughts
or behaviors. The Artist's Way is "a course in discovering
and recovering your creative self." The book offers 12 weeks
worth of exercises to help tap your full creative potential. Methodical
and inspirational, Cameron helps readers break down the emotional
blocks that stop them from realizing their artistic dreams.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
By Stephen King Half autobiography, half practical advice, the suspense
writer shares his tale of how he went from living in a trailer park
to becoming one of the world's most famous authors. The book offers
an intimate glimpse into the mind of a writer and teaches the reader
to polish his or her own words into prose that flows and holds the
Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny,
Write Funny, Act Funny, and Get Paid For It
By Melvin Helitzer Melvin Helitzer is one of a handful of university professors
who teaches a course in humor writing. Comedy Writing Secrets takes
a fun but very serious look at the art and business of writing humor.
Helitzer begins by exploring why people laugh. Then he discusses
different comedic techniques, targeting your audiences, and teaches
how to sell your work in a variety of markets from newspapers to
sitcoms to greeting cards.
2003 Writer's Market If you are interested in publishing your writing, Writer's
Market is packed with paying freelance markets. This reference book
lists thousands of magazines, newspapers, and websites that work
with freelancers, including important information such as what each
publication is looking for, how to submit articles to them, what
they pay, and what sorts of writers they are willing to work with.
This is the freelance writer's bible. If you are looking to sell
your writing, Writer's Market will point you in the right directions.
Writer's Digest Magazine
One-Year Subscription (12 issues) This monthly magazine is one of the best resources available
for writers of all skill levels. It offers monthly columns on a
variety of fiction and non-fiction genres, exercises to help improve
your writing, tips on how and where to publish your work, monthly
contests, interviews with prominent writers, and more. It's a great
motivator to keep your words flowing, regardless of what kind of
writing you do.
Subscribe here and save 67 percent off the cover price. 12 monthly
issues for $19.96.
(Please confirm price on the new subscription page
that opens up.)
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