Twelve Fire-Starters for Your Writing Projects
The new format here at WA is absolutely amazing and beautiful and it inspires me so I wanted to write a little essay. I recently gave a three day workshop on writing, and I prepared this list for the wonderful women who attended. I wanted to share it here for you as well. enjoy.
Book & Essay Recommendations for Writers of the Personal Essay and/or Memoir
One of the ways writers write is to read. By reading the works of others we admire, or essays that touch on a subject we are writing about, we learn ways to craft our own prose. The books and essays listed below are ones I have used in my own writing and that I highly recommend. You will find the very best writing that will inspire your own projects.
- One of the first essays I like to look at is by Anne Lamott called “The Shitty First Draft.” It is helpful for all writers —-beginners to advanced—because we all share a common malady, the paralysis that comes from perfectionism, or from just thinking we aren’t good enough.
- The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative non-fiction contains amazing examples of essays you can read to inspire your own project. You’ll find essays on every subject.
- Tell It Slant is absolutely an essential because it provides a treasure trove of ways you can approach your writing project.
- William Zinsser’s, On Writing Well, is one of the best for refining your writing.
- Read any essay by John McPhee.
- Read anything written by Anne Lamott, like Bird by Bird
- This is an old favorite. Starting From Scratch, A Different Kind of Writers' Manual, by Rita Mae Brown.
- This is an excellent book for ways to write a memoir Old Friend from Far Away, Natalie Goldberg.
- The best book I have ever found on grammar. Just the best. It was written by one of my instructors, and I have a signed copy. Love it. Rhetorical Grammar
- Every writing library needs one of these: Strunk & White
- Recommended by the journalists I worked with at a daily newspaper. Writing Tools, Roy Peter Clark
- An old favorite, hard to find. How a Writer Works, Garrison
So take a look at these and then let me know what you think. If you have any questions about any of them or would like a personal recommendation, just let me know.