Books about writing offer helpful information for those of us who didn’t spend four years of college reading Joyce and analyzing British literature. However, like many other instructional manuals, writing how-tos can often be a dismal and boring lot, only really succeeding in turning people off from writing. Here are three that have done right by me:
The Elements of Style: William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
This book is still required in many intro writing classes in college and for good reason: It breaks down all of the grammar, comp and style essentials that you’ll need to write well in less than 100 pages. It’s a quick read and a great little quick reference for any burning questions that come up in your writing.
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: Lynne Truss
My mother-in-law gave me this book to read as soon as she found out that I was a copywriter. I managed to devour it on the 11 hour flight home. Truss offers a humorous and highly readable defense of proper punctuation and offers memorable tips to help readers use it properly.
Writing Down the Bones: Natalie Goldberg
Part writing how-to, part memoir, Goldberg offers helpful writing advice and exercises. She focuses less on rules and more on writing. The professor of my freshman composition class assigned this book as our textbook and I’ve read it several times over the years. For anyone who fancies themselves a writer, this book will fuel your fire.
An added bonus:
The Icarus Deception: Seth Godin
This isn’t a book about writing, per se. However, it is a book about creating art in everything that you do. It’ll inspire you to be different, not settle and stop playing it safe.
What are some books that have inspired you in your writing?