Friday, 8 January 2010

Useful writing how-tos

Happy New Year, happy new term. And new decade too. Will you write? Will you teach? Will you do both -- the balancing act... let alone learning, earning, living. Courage, strength, faith! I wish you onward.

Do you give out a Writer's Resources List to your students? I do: recommended books to help craft and to support the writing life, also magazines and organisations ditto. This is a different list than the sources I use for a course, one I usually send them away with towards the end as they fledge into the world.

Surely you have your own favourite helps -- and these are no doubt sources for the content and exercises you teach. Today I got an email from a site with a list of '75 Books Every Writer Should Read'. Worth a look. I am pleased that a dozen on the list are old familiars to me... which makes me think that the rest of them may be of equal calibre.

However, they've left out a few that I have learned much from and drawn upon for both writing and teaching. These are:
  • The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
  • Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
  • Writing on Both Sides of the Brain by Henrietta Anne Klauser
  • A Writer's Time by Kenneth Atchity
  • The Weekend Novelist by Robert J Ray
  • 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem by Ruth Padel
Let me know by comments what your favs are. The trouble is... reading these how-to books (I finally realised) takes me away from actually doing my writing. And as I am up and running with great-grandfather Ephraim again (he has arrived in New York City, April 1850), I think I'd better stick to the writing.

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