Hello, dear readers and writers. How is November treating you? Are you also doing NaNoWriMo? Then this post is for you!
I can’t believe we are almost midway NaNoWriMo already. Since I am participating for the first time this year, I noticed that the first week goes on all right. Quite fast actually. The enthusiasm and excitement of it all drives us through the first few days easily. It is about after a fortnight; when the initial excitement starts to wear off, that you start to feel the weight of the commitment, the pressure starts to build no matter how well you prepared. Eventually, the struggle with ideas leads to the doubt if you’ll meet the writing goals.
To help you break that inevitable slump, and to keep those creative juices flowing, here’s a list of 8 books that I believe will motivate your NaNoWriMo project, positively. I also am catching up with these books in the 2nd week now; as I am jotting down this post for you. So I know one thing for sure, you’ll find these pretty helpful; one way or another.
November is observed as the National Novel Writing Month. Millions of aspiring authors across the globe begin working on their novels by putting in 1700 words on an average each day, amounting to at least 50,000 words in 30 days; the basic criteria to join camp NaNoWriMo.
Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 — and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it — fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer’s life. From “Getting Started,’ with “Short Assignments,” through “Shitty First Drafts,” “Character,” “Plot,” “Dialogue.” all the way from “False Starts” to “How Do You Know When You’re Done?” Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses “Writers Block,” “Writing Groups,” and “Publication.” Bracingly honest, she is also one of the funniest people alive.
If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this book is for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eyes open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.
For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice–“it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind.”
‘The Elements of Style’ (1918), by William Strunk, Jr., is an American English writing style guide. It is the best-known, most influential prescriptive treatment of English grammar and usage, and often is required reading and usage in U.S. high school and university composition classes. This edition of ‘The Elements of Style’ details eight elementary rules of usage, ten elementary principles of composition, “a few matters of form”, and a list of commonly misused words and expressions.
In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get results.
These lessons and rules apply across all of your online assets — like web pages, home page, landing pages, blogs, email, marketing offers, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. Ann deconstructs the strategy and delivers a practical approach to create ridiculously compelling and competent content. It’s designed to be the go-to guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content — whether you’re a big brand or you’re small and solo.
Autobiographical reminiscences of author about his childhood and youth. This book majorly focuses on how through literary thick and thin, the author persevered. This little book is inspiring, not in the craft sense but in terms of persevering and sticking by the goals, no matter what. Ultimately, that’s what’s going to help you nail NaNoWriMo, isn’t it?
Literary Taste, which has a sub-title “how to form it, with detailed instructions for collecting a complete library of English Literarure”, came into that category, and was a very successful publication. More than 100 years after it first appeared (in 1909) it will seem rather quaint, but there is much of value in it, and, bearing in mind that much good and great literary work has been produced in modern times, it is still worth a study. Remember it is a book that pointed the way for the generation of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers!
The way to great writing is through great reading and this book helps you develop your reading taste. That, in my humble opinion, is a crucial step toward quality writing.
Brimming with useful advice and tips, this guide to writing warns against common pitfalls and teaches you how to adopt a professional attitude towards your work. Chapters cover such aspects of writing as the novel, short stories, non-fiction, articles, poetry, plays, radio and television scripts—even children’s books. A detailed look at how to prepare a typescript, where and how to submit it and a discussion on the rewards of writing conclude this invaluable book. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced writer, you will enjoy Michael Legat’s lively anecdotes and down-to-earth approach.
Once again let me tell you, I’ve read these books one or twice in the past and they have surely taught me a thing or two about writing, and definitely nudged me to keep going when motivation was scarce.
Do tell if you’ve read any of these titles. Are you participating in NaNoWriMo 2020? How are you finding the motivation to keep going? Are there some books, authors, you are consulting? Share your thoughts below so that the writing fraternity can benefit from your experiences. After all, sharing is caring.
Happy reading till we meet next. Until then, carpe diem!