Monday, August 30, 2010

Melissa's Myths for Mondays

Myth # 2

Real Writers Don’t Need to Read Books About Writing

When I want to learn to do something, the first thing I always do is grab a book. I wanted to learn to knit, I grabbed a book, easy peasy. I wanted to learn about orangutans, I picked up a book. But because I believed that writing was a God given talent, I echewed books about writing. Why on earth would someone read about writing. Surely you can’t “learn to write” from reading a book. If I’m a writer I can write, and I don’t need no stinkin’ book. If I have to resort to a book to become a writer, then I’d failed.

Well clearly that was rediculous. Sure I could write a book, nothing to it. But to become a better writer, I needed to read a lot of books on craft. And I’m still reading them, and re-reading them.

Do you have any favorite books on the craft of writing?


  1. I have all my style guides from college. There was a book my English Department made everyone get - it was an all out Guide to everything. I think the author's name was Troyka. I lost the book and have had trouble finding another copy every since.

    Hm. I'm headed to Ithaca this weekend, maybe I can drop by Cortland and visit the bookstore...


  2. I love that you have themes for the days of the week. That's so clever ^.^ I think I may have to blog a bit more often than once a week - my readership has dropped severely :/ I'm too tired to do much in the evening, so I might try to blog then. But it's a good idea to have a predetermined topic range, like you have.

    Maybe I don't have to write about writing/publishing all the time. Maybe I can write bits about Iceland, for example, once a week or so - or anything else. The writing bits would be the longest blogs, and the other bits shorter.

    Okay, this is what happens when I blog around in the evening when my eyes are stuck in a stare. I ramble ;)

  3. "The Art of War for Writers" by James Scott Bell. Is excellent.

    Great myth buster :)

  4. Yep, "Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer". The authors are pretty funny too, especially when discussing expletives. Even if you don't buy it, just pick it up at the bookstore and turn to that section. I guarantee you'll laugh out loud and embarrass yourself.

  5. "On Writing" by Stephen King

    Far and away the best one I've read so far.

  6. I absolutely depend on "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" I've practically worn my copy out. I meant to go out last week and pick up "On Writing" but I got side tracked by something, so now I'll have to go get that and "The Art of War" too.

  7. I second "On Writing" by King. I don't write, and I loved (and learned from) every page of it.