You don’t have to weave magic with your words every time you put pen to paper. Anyone who considers himself or herself a writer, or aspires to be one, will be way too familiar with the words, ‘writer’s block’, those dreaded moments when you feel that all words and ideas seemed to have abandoned you, and you just don’t have it in you to be a writer.
Believe us, when we tell you that experiencing such moments is absolutely fine, and are in fact a reassertion of the fact that you are the real thing. Like they say, ‘The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” Believe in yourself, in the prowess of your words, imagination, and observation. And, for those moments when you just feel you are stuck in a rut, go on and stock your bookshelf with these trusted finds. Let them become your writing mentors and guides. Here is a list of six such books that will make sure you are always motivated to write, and then, write some more:
1. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
For a lot of us, Hemingway is the first and last word in Literature. Even if you don’t belong to that category, ‘A Moveable Feast’ is the epitome of sharp and lucid writing, and a must-read for every writer. It teaches you one of the primary and most important lessons about writing, flowery language and big words are not the crux of literary success. True genius lies in honest simple prose. Learn to unapologetically, undiplomatically say what you mean rather than loading the thought with so much ornamental prose, that the original thought’s sincerity and naivety gets drowned. As you turn the pages of Hemingway’s book, you will begin to appreciate the value of the right words over heavy, and the charm of good old-fashioned common sense in the literary world you create.
2. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
You must have heard often enough that quality matters more than quantity. Break this notion right away, and let Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’ ease you to writing persistently, consistently, and regularly. Writing as we discussed above is not about the prettiest and perfect word, or about unparalleled elegance, it is about letting thoughts flow, unscrutinized, unfiltered. The Artist’s Way makes you do just that, it motivates and pushes you to writing by making you sign a deal with yourself that no matter what, you will write 750 words every day. Every time you write, every work you produce will polish and benefit your writing. The greater the quantity of your written work, the better the quality of your work. This book is a strict , no-holds barred companion that will motivate and ensure you write everyday.
3. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Writing is an act of passion, love and intensity. To pen out a world, characters, personal experiences, or any other form of information requires great understanding and maturity. And, this emotional, rational, and psychological understanding or the lack of it, is what often creates the writer’s block. A lot of writers will identify with that overwhelming feeling you experience when you just don’t know how to put your thoughts on paper, or logically and emotionally charter out a course of action for your character. Well there is Daniel Kahenman to the rescue. In his book, Daniel takes the reader (the writer in you) on a unique journey of understanding the two primary processes that influence an individual. Thinking Fast, and Slow is one of those rare books that will get the writer within you aching and itching to start writing. It infuses you with such rare and layered understanding of intuition, emotions, logical thinking and deliberate action that it compels the writer in you to implement the understanding in your literary world, through your storylines and characters.
4. Just Start by Leonard A. Schlesinger
Certainty is a missing component today, whether in the world, or your writing. There is no assurance that your writing will become better after attending one writing class. Maybe the rawness of your writing was what made it spectacular in the first place. One may never know anything with certainty.
What makes it as one of the greatest motivational books is the simplicity with which it serves the truth, and makes you overcome your apprehensions and fears by giving you proven, practical strategies that help you succeed even when the future looks uncertain and bleak. Every time you feel down and out, and need a serious dose of pick-me-up motivation to start writing again, you know which book to pick up.
5. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
As a writer you need constant inspiration to keep yourself motivated and keep the ideas and pen moving. Goldberg’s book flames the writer within you to keep thinking and writing without the shackles that silences a writer’s originality and creativity. Here comes a book that frees your mind completely to churn out works that are true and honest.
Just keep writing is what this book is going to convince you to do. Let go of the shackles of punctuation, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and just keep writing.
6. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
When one of the legends of writing talks, all writers should listen. Stephen King in his book makes a very important point for all writers out there. One of the biggest deterrents for writers established or aspiring, is the question of their audience. Should you keep in mind what your prospective polite audience expects of you, or should you, let the real you write up ?King in his memoir on writing tells you to stand out as a writer, you need to forego political and social expectation. Your writing should be visceral not thoroughly calculated. Writing is definitely a craft, and needs to be constantly polished, yet the best writing, word maestros say, come from the heart and soul. Strike the balance between skill and passion, to master your grip over the art of writing, and never stop letting the words flow.
These books mentioned above will be sources of much inspiration and motivation to writers. Read these books cover-to-cover to let your writing take flight and inculcate confidence and conviction in your style, narrative, and content.
If there are some books that we have missed in this list , but can be inspiring and motivating for writers, drop in their names in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!