Whether you write a blog regularly or your writing life is limited to work e-mails and an annual holiday letter, we all could use a little help. Here are my top 5 writing resources to help cure writer’s block and improve your skills. I receive no kickbacks for recommending these books. All links go to the author’s website instead of an Amazon page, hoping you will support your local independent bookstore when purchasing these fantastic resources.
Here we go!
Everybody Writes by Anne Handley
This book is known as the “essential guide to becoming a masterful marketer, writer, and storyteller. If you are someone who falls asleep at the thought of grammar and sentence structure, this is the book for you. This author is known for her wit as well as her wisdom. She provides excellent strategies for planning in her chapter “Think Before You Ink” and “How to Hate Writing Less.” Handley teaches you how to develop your brand, avoid cliches, and write engaging copy.
No matter what topic you write about, you want your writing to connect with your audience. This is your book.
Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
During the pandemic, I decided to get a professional certificate in digital marketing. My first class was on content marketing, and this was the textbook. Fortune Magazine calls it “one of the top business books of the year.” If you are responsible for generating content for your business or employer, this author talks about how to develop content and then recycle that content for different platforms, from e-mail to social media. Want to grow your audience? There is a section dedicated to expanding your reach through your content. I learned so much from this book. He just came out with a second edition, which, admittedly, I haven’t purchased yet. I already have the original, which cost me nearly $30. I’m glad I have it on my shelf, and I’m a little jealous of the people who don’t have this book yet. You get to buy the most recent edition, while mine is ten years old.
Totally worth it!
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
For those of us who are struggling bestseller novelists or memoirists who fight imposter syndrome and writer’s block, this book is my gift to you. She writes an inspiring and often humorous guide to the writer’s world. It’s my survivor guide for when I’m feeling like I don’t have an ounce of creativity left in me. She inspires me to write many shitty first drafts and reassures me that my voice deserves to be heard.
Perfect English Grammar, Grant Barrett
Gather up all of your grammar and punctuation questions and find the answers in this little manual. From spelling and formatting to abbreviations and pronouns, you will want to consult this guide before you hit send on that e-mail, publish that paper, or put out that press release.
Finally, I will get my geek on and tell you about my favorite resource.
How to Tell Fate from Destiny and Other Skillful Word Distinctions by Charles Harrington Elster
As an avid reader and writer, I’m a huge lover of the written word. While a thesaurus will provide 20 different words for convince, this book looks into the deeper meaning of those words to help you decide which words to use in what context. For instance, he writes, “to convince” means to “make someone believe something,” while “to persuade” means “to make someone take action.”
Isn’t that so cool?! No? Okay, I’m weird. I know. But if you are a word nerd like me, this is a must-have for your resource shelf.
Whether you enjoy writing or are required to write for your job and don’t know where to begin, I hope there is something on this list to help you. Good luck!