Friday, September 10, 2010

Retail Therapy

I just went a little bit crazy and ordered a bunch of writing books on Amazon.
I have had a copy of On Writing by Stephen King for awhile now, but I haven't read it. With the pressure I put on myself to keep up the reviews for my book review blog, I would always put it aside for a YA book I could review for the blog. But I'm letting myself off the hook a little bit with some of that pressure, so as I left for work this morning I saw grabbed On Writing and tossed it in my purse. (Do all of you have to have a book with you at all times like I do? Guys...what do you do without purses to carry books in? I would be lost.)
I was feeling so in need of some writing motivation and instruction yesterday (I'm planning a whole post about feeling like a failure of a sham of a writer sometimes), so I popped onto Amazon and ordered these:

screen-shot-2010-09-01-at-74143-amYes, apparently letting myself off the hook means I am allowed to run rampant through the craft books. Just clicking on the order button on Amazon made me feel so much more motivated...the books did their job and I didn't even need to look at a single page.
Then today I saw this post by agent Mary Kole and I decided I wanted that book, too. So back to Amazon I went, and added it to my cart. (I don't order from Amazon often, so I don't have Amazon Prime, but I really wanted free shipping, so I threw Sea by Heidi R. Kling and Losing Faith by Denise Jaden into my cart, too.) Then as I was checking out, Amazon and its stupid "People who ordered what you are ordering also ordered this" suggestions pointed me toward this book:

So, yeah, you know I ordered it, too. I'm such a follower.
I now have a flood of writing books coming my way.
I'm thinking of how long On Writing has been sitting on my shelf, and I'm really hoping I don't regret buying all of these instead of getting them from the library. But, who knows, maybe just having them on the shelf will make me feel like a Real Writer. But I am really trying to make my writing better, and I know that what is in these books can help me with that, so I'm anxious to dive in and learn what I can.
Do you guys find writing books like these helpful? Have you read any of the books I have on the way? Any favorites I should impulsively click on the next time I go wild on Amazon?


  1. Okay first- hey there fellow high school teacher! Props to you for teaching the youth of America AND having a book blog! My blog is so shabby right now, (I teach high school as well), I have NO IDEA where you find your time. You must mainline caffeine!

    Second- SK's ON WRITING is by far one of the BEST books I've ever read on the writing process. I teach English and Creative Writing and I have that book MARKED UP! I have annotated like every page. I use it in the classroom, I have my creative writing kids read it, we talk about it in class. It is SUCH a valuable resource. You will love it. The other books I haven't read but have heard they are fantastic. Esp. the Maas book. I also have an excerpt from Bird by Bird that I use in my creative writing class. I too saw the Kole post and heard that book touted at WriteOnCon, and am planning on buying it as well. (I think you and I share a penchant for purchases).

    As far as the "writing craft" books go, I think you have it covered here! On Writing is really the only one I keep referring to. I have a ton in my bookcase and they just collect dust. And honestly, the post that Weronika Janczuk did for WriteOnCon about plot and pacing (where she quoted Maass so much) was THE MOST HELPFUL plot and pacing guide I have EVER READ. Period.

    I'm waiting for my paycheck next week so I can have my own girl gone wild on Amazon party! Good luck with the reading and writing! (and yes, my purses are all HUGE! and super cute)


  2. I just finished Writing the Breakout Novel and it was very helpful. I took notes (like the nerd I am) and had a few epiphanies and ideas for my story at the same time.

    On Writing is also good but I didn't find it as helpful, personally. I want to read the YA one next.

  3. On Writing and Bird by Bird are both great. Will have to check out the others.

    I don't write much, but I really enjoy reading books about writing. (I'm odd.) Some of these look really interesting! I have Jane Yolen's writing book and Writing Down the Bones in my TBR piles.

    And yes, I always carry a book in my purse, too :)

  4. I don't write fiction, so I don't know if I count. I've read a few writing books - have heard good things about On Writing and Bird by Bird. One book that I liked quite a bit about 10 years ago was Writing Down the Bones. I guess what has helped me improve the most in my writing is reading voraciously and widely, mostly within my genre of choice (poetry). And of course, writing writing writing. I'm a big fan of writing exercises when things aren't really flowing as well as I'd like them to.

  5. If it makes you feel better about your purchase, I've been wanting to read Writing Great Books for Young Adults for awhile now, but my library hasn't had it. So let's just assume that your library doesn't, either.

    Mine keeps up great with contemporary literature, not so much with contemporary NF instructional books. Even their cooking books are from 1984.

  6. I have Writing Great Books for Young Adults and I'm a huge fan of books about the craft.

    HOWEVER, I feel like I spend way too much time reading these books and not enough time writing!