Sometimes I think we writers are gluttons. We aren't easily satisfied. We always want more.
Bigger meaning, bigger drama, bigger purpose.
Anais Nin said something similar: that writers are just double-dippers who like to "taste life twice." And isn't it true? Isn't there a precious and intimate editing that happens as we rewind, replay, and rethink; as we hunt for missing connections; as we squint to see furry shapes in the clouds of our story?
But we also write because we fear (and rightfully so) that we missed a whole lot on the first go-around.
Writing helps to slow down living, teaching us to notice. It's buttoned-up thinking, assimilation; it's spring cleaning; it's rummaging around in the junk drawers of our hearts and trying to figure out why this pen won't scribble, how all the stale rubber bands got here, and where in the world the Krazy Glue went (so we can tack a few broken bits back together).
I love reading about writing almost as much as I love writing itself. I've listed some of my favorite craft books here.
Books about Memoir-CRAFT
Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir by Beth Kephart
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Word by Word by Anne Lamott (audio lecture)
Books about the Creative Life
A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement by Barbara Abercrombie
The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life (eBook only) by Ann Patchett
Books about STORY Structure & Fiction Technique
Anything by Sol Stein:
- Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies
- How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King