Writings on Writing: Do You Indulge?

Day 26 – “Z” “Zen in the Art of Writing”… and Other Works

“You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can’t sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed.
It is a grand way to live.” 

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

I absolutely love books on writing, particularly those by writers whom I admire and am inspired by. Entire books on the topic, essays, random articles, quotations, I just love them. I’m currently devouring “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, and have “On Writing” by Stephen King and “Still Writing” by Dani Shapiro sitting in my “to read” pile, anxiously awaiting the chance to delve in. 

In my post on inspiration, I discussed the various things that motivate me to write my very best and most true work (mainly: people, places, and experience). Whenever I find myself lacking inspiration for whatever reason, picking up one of these books and reading about how other authors tick helps me pick up the pieces and push on.

The way I see it, these authors are doing something right, so why not try to figure out what that is? Whether the advice they are giving focuses on routines and habits, tips for busting through periods of writer’s block, how they find inspiration, their writing process(es), and various other topics, I soak it all up with a relish and apply these tips as necessary.

Do you find essays, books, and quotes from writers you admire to be helpful? Do you find them inspiring? Any particular authors/works that you especially appreciate?

I can’t believe this is the last post in this year’s A-Z Blogging Challenge! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who followed along, commented, and partook in discussions. So many of YOU are writers and authors whose work I admire and find particularity inspirational. And so, this post is dedicated to all of you!



26 thoughts on “Writings on Writing: Do You Indulge?

    1. Ahhh yes!! I love those too, and am happy to see them becoming more commonplace. Especially at the end of a book that I truly enjoyed, it is really nice to read about the author’s process for developing and writing that particular book (travel, research, the writing process, etc.).

      By the way, you are definitely one of the writers I referred to towards the end of the post. Your writing inspires me to write more prose and short fiction. I have really enjoyed chatting with you more over the past few months and look forward to many future convos!! 🙂

    1. Very true. As with all types of “help,” (whether that be books or essays on writing or a writing/critique group) we need to make certain that we don’t lose our own voice and stay true to our message and personal style of writing.

      Thank you! And likewise!! 🙂 I’ve really enjoyed your posts and look forward to keeping this friendship going! 🙂

  1. I haven’t read too much about writing. I think it’s like so many other things, a bit of this and a dash of that. Gardening or cooking or any other art, if the process is fun and people enjoy the outcome, you’re doin it right!

  2. The three books you list are among some I’ve read too. I like Anne Lamott’s best. I like her a lot also as a novelist. My very favorite book on writing remains Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (also a novelist I like very much).
    Congrats for finishing the challenge and thanks for the opportunity to have met you.

  3. I am obsessed with such writing. My problem is that these very talented people give contradictory advice.

  4. I really don’t enjoy books on writing. I’ve altogether stopped reading them. I used to start them then give up halfway through. Now I just don’t even pick them up. Maybe I just never a good one.

    1. That could be. I know a lot of people who just could never get into them either. If your first impression on this type of writing is a crappy one, it definitely would keep you from giving it another shot!

  5. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I do read a few how to write books, primarily to anticipate what editors will look out for and the common pitfalls new writers succumb too, otherwise, I’d rather go with what my head is telling me to write.
    Thank you for following me. I have met such enthusiastic writers during this challenge.

  6. I value the information in all three of the books you mentioned. I have a couple of writing craft books that I keep on my desk for easy reference : Story Struture by Larry Brooks, a few books by James Scott Bell and The writers Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglusi are a few that Spring to mind.

    Congratulations for making it to the end of the challenge. I’m trying to make my way through the list and visit all the participants.
    Melissa Sugar

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