As a writer, you have to fill your muse tank. If you keep pouring out your creativity and inspiration onto the page, you won’t have much to draw from. I don’t think we all have a mystical well of inspiration in the backyard. (IF you do, can you please invite me to see it?) You have to stop and refill with some outside inspirations. I read books and magazines, listen to podcasts and keep my eyes out for anything I can use. So I want to talk about books I have found helpful with writing. I don’t think you have to be a writer to enjoy these books. Perhaps you might get more out of them if you are a writer and/or fan of these particular authors.
On Writing by Stephen King – I’m not a huge King reader because I read at night and if I read King well, then I wouldn’t sleep much, but I have read some of his stuff. I admire much of his work and I appreciated this book’s look at his process.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – I need to re-read this one. I remember reading it and really liking it, but I can’t remember…why…except that it’s funny which always scores points with me.
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg – Read this in high school and I think it was a great introduction to Books on Writing. I preferred this over Wild Mind and Thunder and Lightning, but they are all solid picks for me.
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron – I’m sort of on the fence about this one. After being touted as a great resource for writers, I wanted to come away like “ROWR I’M GOING TO WIN AT WRITING!!!” I more felt like I had a few more tools to work with. Not saying that’s a bad thing.
In the last few years I’ve been getting into the Best American series of Essays and Non-Required Reading.
Recently, I’ve been listening to the I Should be Writing and Writers in the Sky podcasts. I downloaded a couple of other podcasts from another show and will report on those forthwith.
On deck are Storyteller by Kate Wilhelm and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
If you’re a writer, what have you read that you recommend? How do you refill your muse tank?