Whether you need to recover from a writer’s block, or just want to keep your creative instincts finely tuned, these five books will teach you and inspire you, and most importantly, make you want to write.
A Way of Being Free – Ben Okri
A collection of essays gathered in this volume, on creativity and story-telling blew me away. The writing is awe-inspiring, and the contents make you think about creativity and story-telling from a much deeper perspective. It makes you ponder about the relationship between creativity and humanity. And it makes you want to keep writing, and keep getting better.
Stephen King – On Writing
You don’t have to love King’s fiction to love this book. A combination of his autobiography as a writer and advice on writing, this book has been a classic amongst writers for years now, and for a good reason. It will inspire you, to emulate a hard-working, commercially successful writer.
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
Goldberg’s book is excellent to practice creativity, to be inspired, or simply to have fun. Her creativity is different than King’s. It is more playful. It often focuses on the process itself rather than the end result, but sometimes, particularly when you are just testing ideas, it may just be what you need.
A Writer’s Diary – Virginia Woolf
This is the book I keep on my bedside table, and keep it in a continuous re-read mode. I read a few entries at a time, and each time, I am awed by Woolf’s dedication to her craft as a writer. You also learn, in minute detail, how the process of crafting her novels worked, as she tried to figure it out herself. This is a great book, even for those who simply love to read Woolf’s novels.
The Writer’s Journey – Christopher Volger
A modern version of Joseph Campbell’s A Hero’s Journey. The writer’s journey takes the hero’s journey, uses it specifically for writers, and is a much easier read than Campbell’s original. It will teach you, or re-familiarize you with the important elements most successful stories have.