35 Books On Writing (Or, Why I May Have A Problem)

I am enrolled in a writing course, and I can’t even say the name of the class as it reeks of writer/family/betrayal in its highest form.

While I’m not going to post any of the essays I’ve written as part of the class assignments, I am game for sharing a photo inspired by the instructor – a picture of my books on writing.

I stopped pulling titles when the stack I was accumulating began to look like the leaning tower of Pisa.

writing books vertical

Some of these I loved. Some I haven’t read. Some I bought just because I couldn’t resist the title (see: “The Literary Life and the Hell with It” – possibly my most favorite title ever).

When you mix your love/hate relationship with writing with your lust for books and an unhealthy desire to collect things, you end up with the following books on writing that stand as tall as tall as your kindergartner.

35 Books on Writing You’ll Find Scattered around My Office

1. How I Write, the Secret Lives of Authors
2. The Artist’s Way
3. The True Secret of Writing
4. Family Trouble
5. And Here’s the Kicker
6. The Great Failure
7. On Writing
8. The Forest for the Trees
9. The Faith of a Writer
10. The Sound of Paper
11. New Ways to Kill Your Mother (sorry, mom)
12. Writing Down the Bones
13. Why We Write
14. The Writing Life
15. A Year of Writing Dangerously
16. The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work
17. Magic Hours
18. Things I Don’t Want to Know
19. Reading, Writing and Leaving Home
20. Daily Rituals
21. Surviving a Writer’s Life
22. The Maeve Binchy’s Writers’ Club
23. Writing from the Inside Out
24. The Right to Write
25. Bird by Bird
26. Writing Past Dark
27. One Writer’s Beginnings
28. Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life
29. The Literary Life and the Hell with It
30. Still Writing
31. Writers Dreaming
32. 100 Essay I Don’t Have Time to Write
33. The Art of Slow Writing
34. On Becoming a Novelist
35. How to Become a Famous Writer before Your Dead

Let me know what titles I missed, as I’m obviously always up for another book…

2 thoughts on “35 Books On Writing (Or, Why I May Have A Problem)

Add yours

  1. Oh how I love Ariel Gore’s How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead.

    My first thought when I saw your stack of books? You don’t need any of them. You think like a writer, like a storyteller.


    1. Thank you.

      Of course, when I think of giving any of them up, I think of that scene from The Jerk when Steve Martin has to leave w/out his stuff:

      “I don’t need anything. Except this ashtray. And this paddle game. The ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need. And this remote control. And this lamp.”

      Except instead of the ashtray, paddle game, remote control and lamp – it’s books.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: