Creative Writing – Books on Craft

Hi, Copy Bitch! I stumbled on your blog and noticed that you’re a creative writer in addition to being a copywriter. Cool! I love writing, and I’ve been thinking about going back to school for it. In the meantime, I’m asking the writers I know about the books they like to read (books on writing that is). What do you recommend?

—Happy Scrivener, Detroit

Answer: So many books, so little time. Okay, here are three that I recommend (two books and one essay):

  • Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. The love of my life gave me this book back in the mid 90s, and I’d go through all the heartache again just so I’d encounter the book when I did.
  • Envy” by Kathryn Chetkovich. This is a personal essay — an important one, as far as I’m concerned. Whether we like to admit it or not, envy runs rampant in writing circles (hell, probably in all circles), and the best way to deal with it is to recognize it, make peace with it, and learn how to manage it. You’ll find people will be happy to make you feel better when you get rejected. Many of those same people will have a tough time being genuinely happy when you publish. We’re human. It happens to ALL of us (myself included) — I don’t care who you are. Best we all learn to deal with it.

Happy reading and writing!

3 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    Love, love, love Bird by Bird! It’s a classic. If you enjoyed that book, you might also like Susan Shapiro’s Only as Good as Your Word about writing mentors.

    Reply
  2. Steve T.
    Steve T. says:

    Haven’t read “Envy,” but I’m a fan of the Lamott and King books. Also liked Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, though I haven’t read it in 20 years.

    Reply

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