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Resources on Writing

Selected books and other resources for writers from editor and author Carole DeSanti.

Resources on Writing

Selections from my own library — a few books on writing and creative process to which I often return, and always recommend.

Bookshelf

Trust the Process by Shaun McNiff   

Still the best book I've ever read on the subject of creative process.

On Writers’ Block by Victoria Nelson

Resistance to writing has much to teach us once we understand that it exists for a reason. What is that reason and what is to be done? No one has ever addressed the question better than Nelson.

The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner

The essential wisdom, from the master's pen.

The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton

A worthy companion on the journey,  from the woman who lived it so well.  

The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making by David Esterly

"…A strange and wonderful book, simultaneously a meditation on the nature of making and a reflection on time," wrote one reviewer.  Riveting and beautiful — a surprising tale of discovery.

World  Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down by Christian McEwan

Observation, conversation, walking, pausing and dreaming are the ways our best ideas come to us. Need to be reminded why, or prompted to resume slowing down? McEwan's book is a island of calm, a generous banquet of insights and ideas. 

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

Re-read it.  It will shake you to the core.

Still Writing : The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro

A witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. A memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, and friendly writing companion.  

The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde

Hyde's case that our creative work is better understood in the context of gift-giving, and its long human history, is a compelling antidote to the art-as- commerce model that governs much of our attitudes to our work today.

Journey From the Center to the Page by Jeff Davis

Insights and instruction about yoga and writing — Davis's understanding of the relationship between flexibilities of body and mind is unique and useful.  

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner

A publishing insider's guide to the art, the craft, and the business.  Insightful and fun to read.   

Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age by David Levy

While creating documents, it's worth pausing to reflect on what they actually are, and David Levy is an informed guide.

Thinking Like Your Editor:  How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction and Get it Published by Susan Rabiner

An excellent guide to proposal-writing, with useful information on how publishing works.

Your Power to Say NO by Vernon Howard

Succinct advice on what to say NO to, and why it is  essential to sanity.  Everyone's, but especially writers.

Additional Resources

Hedgebrook

A global community of women writers who seek extraordinary books, poetry, plays, films and music by women, offering writing residencies, master classes and salons at their retreat on Whidbey Island.

Author’s Guild

America's oldest and largest professional organization for writers, providing advocacy on issues of free expression and copyright protection, and a broad range of legal and web services.

Poets & Writers

The nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers, a primary source of information, support, and guidance.