Reading is vital to writers. There is a lot that goes into the craft of writing. From term papers to novels, there is always something to learn. I have this stack of books on how to write in a special “to read” pile. This pile continues to grow. There are so many talented people in the world of writing and I feel like I can learn from all of them. I am currently knee deep in the DIY MFA one of the best books on writing I have ever read! more on that later. When I first decided to give in to my heart’s desire and write a book, I had no idea where to start. The greatest thing about books, they tell you how to start and finish!
Recently, I was taking a class on self-editing with Jerry Jenkins (he rocks by the way), and he had the Gabriela Pereira (the author of DIY MFA) as a guest. Jerry asked her a question about people saying writing is a gift or talent and you either have it or you don’t.
I love her reply, she said, “I say that’s utter nonsense. I think that talent is maybe like a teeny-tiny little piece, like obviously if you have an innate affinity for writing, I wouldn’t even call it a gift per se, but you have sort of a love or a passion for it, you kind of like to muck around with words, then clearly you’re going to be practicing it more often, so it’ll probably come more naturally to you…”
Do you know why I love this? It is because in those times when I doubt my ability to put the words on the page I know that it is nonsense! (The doubt.)
Are you a writer? I am. ANYONE can write. Does it come easier to some than others? Sure. But I am here to tell you, there is so much information out there on writing that literally anyone that has the desire can do it! If you want to write, I suggest you start a reading list of your own. I am going to suggest a few books to get you started.
- The Story Within – Laura Oliver – This was the first book on writing I ever read. It was an assigned book for my CRW class and it changed my life. It opened my heart to see that I could do it.
- DIY MFA – Gabriela Pereira – Seriously, the most useful thoughts on the craft of writing that has ever been written. I can’t praise this book enough. Make it your second book to read. I am currently working through this book and it has taught me so much even though I have not finished it! (yeah, it is that good)
- On Writing: A memoir on the Craft – Stephen King – Great book, I don’t care for the language in this one but he has some solid advice (even if I don’t agree with it all, it is solid advice.)
- Outlining your Novel – K.M Weiland – (Also has a workbook) ANY of her books are great for outliners and pantsers that want to be! This is a great way to discover how to structure a novel.
- Plot Whisperer – Martha Alderson (Also has a workbook). This was a book that pushed me to move forward in my book. It helped me to lay out what I needed to do to get my novel finished.