I didn’t go to college for writing. I didn’t go to college at all, in fact. I took Journalism in high school, for four years, and of course, I had English classes every year.
But I’ve never taken a single Creative Writing class. Everything I’ve learned about writing, I’ve learned in one simple way.
I picked up a book, and I read it.
This isn’t a poor way to learn. In fact, it’s served me quite well.
Today, I want to share with you the books I feel have best served my writing education, plus a list that I intend to read in the next year. I’ve talked about some of these before, but I’ve never put them all out in a serious list. Many of them you might have read already. But if you haven’t, and you’re looking to grow as a writer, I’d suggest reading them.
And if you’re a writer, you should always be looking to grow.
Danse Macabre, Stephen King
On Writing, Stephen King
Wild Mind, Natalie Goldberg
Thunder and Lighting, Natalie Goldberg
*Writing Down The Bones, Natalie Goldberg
Some Writers Deserve To Starve, Elaura Niles
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Mya Angelou
There are other books that I think you should read, but it’s harder to narrow those down. I would advise reading the classics of your genre. I read Bradbury, Tolkien, King, Sanderson, McCaffrey, Pierce. I’ve read Beowulf, of course.
But I also suggest reading bad books in your genre. This isn’t just me, Stephen King suggests the same thing in On Writing.
I won’t name any names here, even though I’d like to, but I have learned a lot about what not to do by reading bad books.