Some of the best books on writing have little to do with technical writing skill. The best books on writing tackle the crippling effects of writer’s block.
Though, if you want to learn the craft, there are many successful teachers and manuals out there.
However, these are the books that have inspired me and many others to be effective writers:
Best Books on Writing – #1
The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
Far and away the best book on writing is this little tome. It’s an easy and quick read, but Pressfield packs a punch on every page. It’s like his literal love letter to battle writer’s block and to force his butt in the chair every day. Interestingly he prays to his muse (or God) as he attempts to overcome temptations to slack off. A must read.
Best Books on Writing – #2
On Writing by Stephen King
My next favorite book is Stephen King’s autobiography. While he does give some actual writing pointers, it’s through the lens of his life and trials he faces. It all culminates when King is struck down by a motorist and struggles for his physical life. His one hope to lift him through that difficult time, is to sit down and write. Very inspiring.
Best Books on Writing – #3
Bird by Bid by Anne Lamott
A common weapon in many authors’ libraries is Anne Lamott’s stories on writing and life. As the title suggests, her father provided advice to an adolescent Anne on how to write a bird essay. The advice: take it bird by bird. A lovely life lesson which Anne uses today.
Best Books on Writing – #4
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
For an actual technical manual on how to physically layout words, Strunk is the writer’s manifesto. There are so many rules in this database, it’ll drive you crazy. But it’s a must read for writers, and especially when editing, to make sure your funky grammar choices aren’t out of place. Boring, but excellent.