We all hit writing slumps. In this article, I’m going to tell you the 5 writing books to get you back on track, tried-and-tested by yours truly.
Juggling life, work, relationships, and writing can feel impossible at times, and it’s not unusual to get burned out and ditch your creativity for a while. Sometimes, you need a break. And you are ALLOWED to take one. I’d say it’s essential and isn’t something you should feel ashamed of. Ignore the ticking clock; breaks are all part of the process.
However, sometimes jumping back on the bandwagon after a rest can feel just as alien as starting to write for the very first time. Even if you have an idea brewing, it can be hard to push through the imaginary barriers and put the words onto the page.
If you find yourself in that situation, these 5 books might help:
1. The Five-Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty
Margret Geraghty has written an indispensable book filled with quick and simple exercises that pack a huge punch. From practical advice to new perspectives on the basics, I have taken a great deal from this book over the years, and have found it to be the most useful tool to get me out of any slump.
2. The Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer
This is a fun book filled with 366 brightly-coloured and illustrated pages designed to help you answer prompts and jot down your ideas. It’s an especially useful book if you’re struggling with overwhelm, regularly find your attention wandering, or simply hate staring at a blank screen or page.
3. The Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook
There’s a reason why this one is pretty much constantly number 1 in author self-help categories around the world. It is crammed full of useful listings, from agent and publisher contacts, to articles written by the best in the business. Although it can be quite pricey, it is usually readily available to order from local libraries.
4. On Writing by Stephen King
Okay, so maybe I have horror bias. But regardless of your genre, there is no denying that King is an author with every right to have a voice of authority in the industry. Reading about another author’s life, trials, triumphs, and process can help you to unlock your own motivation. If you don’t like King, check out Ernest Hemingway’s personal account (also called On Writing).
5. Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors by Sarah Stodola
There is no ‘right’ way to write, but there are many out there who will try and tell you what it is. Reading about how successful authors out there completed their greatest works shows just how valuable your own personal process is—and how you should fit your writing schedule and practices around your own individual needs. There may be a practice or technique that resonates with you and helps you to find what works best for you. Or you can pick and choose from a few until you find something that suits your lifestyle.
It’s no lie that reading in itself can be a procrastination technique, so I highly recommend one of the first two on this list if you are truly wanting to fly out of the gate and get some actual words on the page.
What are you waiting for? Go and get inspired!