Monday, September 6, 2010

Melissa's Myths for Mondays

Myth # 3

Reading Books About Writing Will Kill Your Creativity

To go along with the notion that real writers don’t need to read books about writing, I was convinced that they would squash my creativity. I’d be filled up with other peoples ideas about how to write, and I’d lose my own way. If I read “On Writing” by Steven King, I’d wind up sounding like a “copy” of him. (Yeah righ, I wish).

Another ridiculous notion that was quickly proved false when I started reading books on craft. What I discovered as I learned more about the craft of writing was a whole new level of creativity.

What new tools have you discovered about craft that have enhanced your creativity?


  1. It's not new, but certainly my favorite book for enhancing creativity is The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

  2. I think this is a really nice podcast for writers:
    Lots of practical advice from some great authors (Brandon Sanderson--an adult fantasy writer, Dan Wells--a YA horror writer, and Howard Taylor--a sci-fi comic book writer). They're to-the-point and fun to listen to.

  3. When I finally realized that -ly words were the devil, I started making my verbs stronger. Why do they still teach our children about -ly words in school? It should be outlawed. I am going to request that my daughter be excused from class during that particular chapter.

    Also, dialogue tags and beats. If you're doing it right, you need very few.

  4. Hi Melissa,
    You're right. They're myths. I've read books on writing and they've helped me a lot. The latest tool I've discovered to help me with my writing is "prompts". Great exercise to unleash my creativity ;)
    You should try it.

  5. Just writing. I get better with each thing I write. ;-)


  6. I love On Writing. Anyhow, even when I try purposely to incorporate stylings of favorite authors, I still come out sounding like me. The biggest help so far for me has been simply learning so much from the writing blogs and websites, and having a crit group.

  7. I agree with Justine! Practice makes perfect! I have the attention span of gnat, so books don't work for me unless they're about something I truly love. Anything that reminds me of homework makes my lazy brain shut off! ;)

    Great post!


  8. I love reading other people's books because it makes me want to be creative. I have bouts where I love how to write books and times when I hate them.

  9. sleep, exercise and chocolate.
    Three essential elements for creativity :)