Writing craft books

Like any writer I have a bunch of craft books on my bookshelf and kindle. Some I haven’t yet opened *blush*. Not that I bought them Image result for save the cat emotion thesaurusthinking they wouldn’t be useful and it’s not that I no longer want to read them. I do. It’s just that time taken reading a craft book could be spent writing. But I think I need to start reading them and flushing out those that I don’t want to keep.

I’m slowly weeding out craft books I rarely refer to, or didn’t find helpful, or are no longer relevant to the direction my writing is taking me (mostly to save my groaning bookshelf!). I promised myself no-more-craft-books. But somehow I still find myself buying new ones (I say as I push the craft book that arrived last week under some papers).

All I want in the way of craft books are just 2 or 3 that resonate with me. That I can easily apply to my writing. That will move my writing forward. That I enjoyed reading.

Talking about my keeper-craft books might be a post for the future. What are your keeper-craft books?

10 comments on “Writing craft books

  1. Good luck with that! 😁 I’m like that with cookbooks, though I do have some craft books as well. My favourite, with which I will never part, is a book of bead loom patterns with Native American designs. I got it from the library of a school where I was working, which had been a tech school and had no more need for all those craft books, which nobody had borrowed in years. So I took it, and wove some belts, and some time later I saw it in the window of a craft shop for a LOT of money. I felt very smug!

    • How wonderful that must have felt, Sue. I rarely have time to indulge in craft hobbies. I hope to get back to them one day, probably when I no longer have Barbarians at home 😉

  2. Easy. They’re sitting right in front of me on my desk:

    ON WRITING by Stephen King
    WRITING WITHOUT RULES by Jeff Somers

    I’ve read a bunch of craft books and those two are by far the most useful and inspirational.

    • I’ve never read Stephen King’s book, but I have Jeff’s sitting on my desk. Come 1 August (when work should settle) I plan on indulging in a weekend of reading.

  3. Hi AJ,
    I love my two shelves of writers craft books and doubt that I’ll ever stop myself from adding to the collection. That said, there are definitely some that are more useful than others. I’m with Colin in loving On Writing by Stephen King.

    Because of where I’m at in my writing right now – smack dab in the middle of “I haven’t got a clue” – I’m liking books of inspiration (Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and Crash Course by Robin Black), prompts, reassurance and more inspiration (A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves, and Escaping into the Open by Elizabeth Berg), books about writing literary nonfiction which is what I ‘think’ I want to write (You Can’t Make This Stuff Up by Lee Gutkind and Good Prose by Tracy Kidder).

    Not exactly helpful to you, AJ, but actually quite helpful to me in writing this comment. I’m realizing that when I finally, if ever, land on the genre and concept of my next book, I’d be well served to weed my craft book collection or at least to stash them away in a bin somewhere. They need to be out of sight so that I can turn my laser-like focus (choke, choke) on my goals.

    But until I finish my metaphorical road trip and make my decision, I’m just going to have to keep ordering and enjoying craft books – starting with Colin’s recommendation of Writing Without Rules, plus I just saw that Jenny co-authored Write Away: A Year of Musings and Motivations for Writers. Amazon here I come. Oh dear.

    • I hope you find inspiration for your next book while on your “road trip”, Karen. I’m sure somewhere on the journey, when your mind is relaxed and your focus elsewhere, your sub-conscious will be able to do its thing and suddenly inspiration will hit. Good luck!

  4. I have about a third of yours. I buy new ones to read for inspiration. Good authors make me think I can do it so I return to my novel energized. I love my craft books by Donald Maass and James Frey.

    • I like the craft books that leave me thinking “I can do this”. I have a few digital books as well, and one of them (by Alexandra Sokeloff) really helped. The best thing I know for energising my writing is meeting up with/talking to other writers.

  5. I no longer buy physical books. I have no room for them. But several in your collage are ones I want to peruse.

    • Liz, I have quite a few on my kindle as well. But I find the better craft books are ones I like to have at my elbow so I can flick through them quickly to find what I need. I struggle with that on my kindle and have made a conscious decision to stick to hard copies as much as possible.

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