12 best books for writing









  1. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg 1986
  2. The Right to Write by Julia Cameron 1999
  3. Turning Memories Into Memoir: a Handbook for Writing Lifestories by Denis Ledoux 1993
  4. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King 1999
  5. Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art by Judith Barrington 1997
  6. Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir by William Zinsser 1998
  7. The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins 1994
  8. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose 2007
  9. The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers by Ayn Rand 2000
  10. The Intuitive Writer: Listening to Your Own Voice by Gail Sher 2002
  11. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown & Dave King 2004
  12. Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing by Larry Brooks 2011

My bookshelves are stocked with books on writing, journaling, publishing- you name it, I’ve got it. But 12 of these are classics – my classics.  #1 The oldest for me is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I got it in 1986 when I was dabbling in journaling, then jumped full on into the storm of emotional writing. Goldberg advises “use writing as your practice, as a way to help you penetrate your life and become sane.” Penetrate I did. I filled journal after journal in longhand  with ideas, thoughts, loves, hates, jealousies—starting an entry with neat tidy print, then morphing into sloping letters, slashing words.  “sometimes when you think you are done, that is just the edge of the beginning.”  My journal writing took me to edges and over—I didn’t fall or self-destruct. I kept writing and never looked back. Go. Go to your writing edge.