Throughout history, written content has been both profitable and in high demand. Whether you’re a writer, content creator, or expert in digital marketing, knowing how to write is essential for success. In fact, only 21% of authors make most of their income from publishing books. Now more than ever, there are countless ways to become a writer. If you’re considering taking up writing or improving your writing skills, learning from the experts is a great path to take. So, what are the best books on writing? We’ve gathered them up in this guide.

Best Books On Writing

Below are the top 9 books on writing and how they can make you a better writer who’s more appreciative of the craft.

1. On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King

This book is consistently talked about as the #1 book on writing. In this, iconic author Stephen King explains what writing is really about, and how it can provide purpose in your life. He’ll help you get over your fear of writing, stop holding back your opinions, and self-edit your work like a pro. 

In his words, you must be able to write with the door closed and edit with the door open. By reading On Writing, you’ll gain insight into King’s unconventional wisdom that he’s learned from decades of writing, and you’ll be able to tap into your purpose as a storyteller. After all, no writer is motivated to keep working if they don’t feel the passion of storytelling. 

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2. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Zen in the Art of Writing is a collection of essays about creativity and the written word. From Ray Bradbury himself, this book holds one unifying theme: his love for literature. Here, he shares countless thoughts and wisdom about living life as a writer. He explains which characteristics all successful writers have, how to master the craft, and how to cultivate your voice.

This is more than just a how-to manual. If you’re looking to celebrate the fact that you get to be a writer, this is the book for you. Not only is writing about analyzing literature but interpreting life. By tapping into your own purpose as a human, you’ll be able to define your purpose as a writer as well. 

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3. Story Genius by Lisa Cron 

Story Genius by Lisa Cron

In Story Genius, Lisa Cron explains why we write stories and why our readers need them. Her main claim: we do not turn to stories to escape reality, but rather to navigate reality. Since it was published, Story Genius has become the go-to book for authors to read before releasing their work.

Here, Lisa Cron teaches you how to go beyond your outline and create a book that your audience needs. From this, you’ll learn how to make a story that your audience is wired to hear. You’ll also avoid the countless wasted hours that many authors spend creating work that never gets its deserved recognition. 

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4. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

In The Writing Life, Annie Dillard dives into the mind of a writer, and what drives them to choose the profession in the first place. If you’re looking to become even more passionate about the craft, this is the book for you. In this, she explores the real life of a writer and what it means to be invested in the written word.

This is a collection of stories accumulated from her experiences of creating countless books. She does not merely explain how to write books but also how to live life as a creative writer. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, this book will motivate you to keep on writing. 

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5. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Although writing may seem like an exclusive profession for authors, Natalie Golberg explains why storytelling is more universal than many would believe. Writing Down the Bones will connect you to the power of writing, despite your current profession. While it can be hard to stay motivated without a steady audience, Writing Down the Bones connects you to a larger purpose of writing: getting to know yourself.

While creating literature is beneficial to the audience that reads it, it poses life-long benefits to the writer and allows them to study and analyze the world around them. 

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6. On Writing Well by William Zinsser 

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

This book has been praised by its clarity, sound advice, and practical style. In this, William Zinsser teaches you how to write, and explains why everyone needs to write every day. Most of us write daily without realizing it, whether it’s typing out a text or sending countless emails each morning.

In this New York Times best-seller, you’ll learn how to create compelling prose that keeps the reader drawn in. 

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7. Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin

Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin

Steering the Craft contains exercises and discussions on the art of story writing. Developed from a writers’ workshop led by Ursula K. Le Guin, this book includes self-guided activities on narrative prose, and how to become a true practitioner of the art. In this revised version, Le Guin addresses the modern era’s obstacles that can hold back a writer from discovering their true potential.

Often referred to as a helpful handbook, Steering the Craft contains advice on how to create fundamental narrative components, such as point of view and the sound of the language. 

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8. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Whether you’re looking to take your fiction to the next level or jump-start your career as a novelist, this is the book for you. In this, author and literary agent Donald Maass teaches you how to write a novel that hits the best-sellers list in no time. He details the crucial elements that all breakout novels share, and explains the writing techniques that allow your work to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Ultimately, you’ll learn how to establish a compelling setting, sustain narrative tension, and create larger-than-life characters that step off the page and into the readers’ hearts.

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9. Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

Wired for Story is the ultimate guide for writers to hook readers from the very first sentence. In this, Lisa Cron explains what the reader’s brain craves and how you can give it to them while maintaining uncertainty. While lots of books focus on writing well, Lisa Cron is sure to teach you that creating a great story is a whole new skill.

By reading Wired for Story, you’ll learn how the reader’s brain experiences your work and how you can keep them hooked throughout the experience.

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Best Books On Writing: Final Thoughts

All in all, over 300,000 new books are published each year. Although there is no shortage of writers, the written word will never go out of style. Reading about what makes excellent writing will allow you to create exciting content, stand out, and make more money from writing. 

After you’ve made use of one or many of these best books on writing you can always continue growing your knowledge with a writing course as well. Become the writer you dream of being!

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