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  • Writer's pictureDebra Stang

7 Writing Books I Can’t Do Without

I've been writing professionally for almost 15 years now. During that time, I've done many things right…and just about as many things wrong.

I've learned a lot of lessons. Some I've picked up the hard way by making mistakes and losing money or business. Others lessons, I've been fortunate enough to learn from other writers who were generous enough to share their experiences. 

I'm sure there are literally hundreds of books I've turned to over the years, but the following are my current top seven picks. Check them out. You may find that they help you as well.

1. Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck Guide to Self-Publishing Success by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. Finally, a book about self-publishing for fiction writers! As the authors themselves say, this is not the right book for "pure artists," but if you're ready to work like hell and delve deeply into the business side of writing, you'll find spot-on advice that can help you increase your chances of a long, successful fiction writing career.

2. How to Work for Yourself: 100 Ways to Make the Time, Energy, and Priorities to Start a Business, Book, or Blog by Bryan Cohen. Cohen has written many helpful books for writers, but this one happens to be my current favorite. By turns practical (learn how to take care of your body and set useful goals), philosophical (find things you like and respect about your adversaries), and creative (let yourself daydream, brainstorm new ways to market your product), Cohen offers all the tools you need to help make your writing and authoring dreams come true.

3. Bloggers Block – Writer's Block for Bloggers by Mick Michaels. If your blog is on life support, Michaels has the cure. Learn how to find your unique blogging style, develop one big core idea and dozens of micro-categories, and scour the web to locate information and inspiration. Bloggers Block is every reluctant blogger's dream.

4. The Writing Habit: How to Stick to a Daily Writing Routine by Sheryl Jacobs. This book is part of Jacobs's The Write Tools series. It's simply not enough to want to write. According to Jacobs, you must insert writing into your daily routine until not doing it feels as weird as not taking a shower or brushing your teeth. This book teaches you step-by-step how to turn daily writing sessions into your new favorite habit.

5. The Organized Writer is a Selling Writer by Kathryn Lay. Lay argues that good organization helps writers to market accurately, make wise use of their time, and keep track of crucial information. Her pen-and-paper methods of tracking data may seem old-fashioned to some (though I happen to love them), but you can always substitute your favorite electronic filing system. This book also offers valuable ideas on goal setting, finding things to write about, and making the time to write.

6. Finding Time to Write Your Book When You Feel Overwhelmed by Rita Emmett. Emmett has written several valuable time management books. This is a very short guide, but if you're already feeling overwhelmed, it may be a much-needed voice of reason that offers advice about basic skills like chunking complicated tasks, not interrupting your writing time with diversions, and rewarding yourself for making time to write.

7. 101 Time Management Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs by Robert Boduch. As you may have guessed from the number of books on this list that deal at least tangentially with time management, you've probably figured out that time and I are old enemies. Boduch's book doesn't offer any ground-shaking revelations, but it does provide a good, solid list of the most effective time management techniques. You'll find advice on goal-setting, delegating, being punctual, and attacking your hardest challenges first.

What are some of your favorite writing-related books?   

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