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Writing is a craft that requires you to learn and do a lot of practice to perfect the art. If you are an aspiring writer, you may have a lot of questions about writing and how to go about it. Many aspects are involved in writing, and writers face unique challenges, but some are common and cut across all writing spheres. You need to learn writing skills from other successful writers through their experiences. Learning from multiple writers enables you to understand different styles and choose the one that fits you best.


Numerous successful writers have shared their secrets to success, and this has helped aspiring writers learn and improve on their craft. From William Strunk, Jr. to modern writers like Stephen King, the authors of these books give a sneak peek into their writing careers and strategies. Their books will hopefully inspire you to launch your career and boost your confidence as you write.


Some of the common areas that aspiring writers stumble upon include writer’s block, grammar, nonfiction, self-publishing, and polishing the story and composition. Here is a list of five books that can help in these areas and that are must-reads to become a better writer. 


1. “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King


Stephen King is one of the bestselling authors of all time. This book is a masterclass and a memoir of Stephen King and his writing journey. He shares his struggles and successes, behind-the-scenes looks at the writing process, childhood anecdotes, and a glimpse of where he gets his ideas from.


This book should be on the reading list of any writer because it is empowering, entertaining, and revealing. It is full of practical and necessary advice that will give you the basics of writing, plot, and character development. This is arguably one of the best books for creative writing thanks to its inspirational, intimate, and beautifully written style. Stephen King writes with honesty and shows how writing is essential to being human, delivering a truly remarkable book.


2. “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott


Anne Lamott delivers a nonfiction masterpiece that aspiring writers will find inspirational at every step. Novel writing requires patience, and this is one of the best books to read before writing your novel. It provides a step-by-step guide on how to get started, how to overcome writer’s block, and how to develop characters, dialogue, and plot. This book will give you a detailed insight into what it means to be a writer and what it takes to follow your passion for writing.


Lamott has used a natural and honest tone in the writing of this book, which gives it a sense of intimacy. “Bird by Bird” extends beyond the spheres of writing and advises on how to remain calm and sane in an unpredictable world. She conveys a principle on how to take life day by day and solve life problems as they come. The book uses humor and the author’s life stories to inspire you to pick up a pen and start your own writing journey. 


3. “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield


When it comes to books on writing skills, this one stands out and applies to almost everyone. It offers insight into writing your novel as well as other areas of life. Steven Pressfield is a renowned screenwriter and author of fiction who offers inspiration and tips for learning how to identify and unlock the inner barriers to creativity in this book. It also teaches how to overcome writer’s block and other challenges writers face. 


Pressfield tackles a resistance that he describes as a force that conspires to prevent writers from fulfilling their creative pursuits. This book will motivate you to start living your creative life to its full potential. “The War of Art” is one of the best books for creative writing as it instills self-discipline and helps build a mindset for maintaining consistency. 


4. “On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction” by William Zinsser


This book is entertaining, especially if you are an aspiring nonfiction writer. It gives guidelines on how to write and also offers a prime example of how you should write. “On Writing Well” is an easy-to-follow guide on effective structuring and the power of word choice.


Zinsser writes with warmth and humanity, which makes this among the best books for creative writing or nonfiction writing. This classic gem has sold over 1 million copies and remains a must-read to become a better writer.[1] This book is uniquely comprehensive and offers lessons on style, leads, methods, and endings crucial to any writing. William Zinsser does not sugarcoat the writing process and emphasizes the importance of patience in writing.


5. “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr.


This short book offers a comprehensive but concise guide on style, composition, and grammar. It is a must-read to become a better writer as it provides information on how to communicate clearly and write effectively. This book is a handy reference that cuts across the fields of business and journalism.


“The Elements of Style” is one of the most iconic guides that will help you maximize your writing. It is informative, compact, and thorough and guarantees to improve your writing. You will probably find this book on the reading list for writers who wish to make a mark in the writing world and on readers’ minds.


Starting a career in writing can be daunting and intimidating, but with the help of these books, you will get inspired to take your first step. Learn more about writer Michele Campanelli and her writing career here.




[1] https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Well-Classic-Guide-Nonfiction/dp/0060891548