Looking for more inspiration, information, and ideas to feed your writing habit?

I am a voracious reader, but certain books I hold onto and read again and again.

At the top of the list is The Writer’s Portable Mentor by Seattle author and teacher Priscilla Long. Drawn from and developed for her students–beginners to advanced–every chapter offers practical advice. Long covers everything from learning stronger sentencing by studying the masters, essay and story structure and development, how and why to submit your writing, plus how to sustain your writing career over the next fifteen minutes, and for the long haul. This book is due to come out in an second edition sometime in the next year.

Lauren Sapala‘s blogposts about the INFJ writer (and INFP’s, which I proudly am) held a mirror up to my writing quirks and my weird, intuitive feel-my-way-through-the dark writing career. Reading her book makes me feel as though someone finally “gets” me, plus it has a bushel basket of advice for how to use my quirks to make my life easier. My copy of her book, The INFJ Writer is so beat up and highlighted and scribbled in that I’m thinking I need a second copy. Check this post for her summer 99 cent sale on her novel, INFJ Writer and her new book, Firefly Magic: Heart-Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers. 

There are SO many good poetry books by poets, but for now I’m going to keep it simple and recommend Ted Kooser‘s The Poetry Home Repair Manual. Although it is subtitled, Practical Advice for Beginning Poets, opening this book reminds me of why I fell in love with poetry to start with. Like Kooser’s own poems, The Poetry Home Repair Manual has a kind of artless air about it, on the surface, but below the surface he plumbs deeply into the art. Having read this numerous times (and given copies to friends), I know that it will teach you about writing, even if you don’t call yourself a poet.

Although it is not about writing, per se, Robert Maurer’s One Small Step Can Change Your Life is the best book I know for anyone attempting to create a new habit. Make it small, make it smaller. Repeat daily.

Maurer’s book opens with this quote:

“Small things with great love….It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the doing. and it is not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving. To God there is nothing small.” -Mother Teresa