How to become a better writer: lessons from 5 amazing books

5 Books Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer

One secret most successful writers agree on is if you want to become a better writer you have to…read more.

And if you want to write for business, you should learn from the masters.

Even if you have been writing for years, you can learn better ways to keep a reader’s attention or how to move them to action.

In this piece – our first post about books we recommend – we have collected 5 of our favorite books about writing skills.

Each of these authors are skilled at their craft and bona fide experts at writing words that sell. We’ve learned from them—now you can as well.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft — Stephen King

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” – Stephen King

Stephen King is undeniably royalty in the world of writing. He’s the master of suspense and is one of the most successful published authors of all time.

He also wants to tell you how to become a better writer via his memoir On Writing.

This powerful book covers everything from pointed life lessons through to practical tips. Like that in writing, you should “…kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart…”. 

On Writing is the perfect book if you are ready to take a sharp knife to your writing and deliver stronger sentences that move readers to action.

Alternatively, you can let BlogWorks handle the writing for you.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life — Anne Lamott

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life …” – Anne Lamott

Writer Anne Lamott is a vocal advocate of the need for a “shitty first draft”.

Picking up Bird by Bird means getting your hands on a heap of practical tips about the writing process and being a writer.

You’ll learn about the necessity of first drafts and how to know when to publish your work.

Her cutting wit will have you in stitches just as often as it will have you analyzing your experiences. Ultimately, you’ll be led to the conclusion that to be a great writer, you’ve got to write. A lot. 

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Ann Handley

“Because at some point, you do have to rush your own art. Otherwise, your art sits on its butt on the couch eating chips and salsa.” Ann Handley

Ann Handley has established herself as one of the leading experts on writing in the digital age. 

Everybody writes is jam-packed with actionable tips that’ll help you become a better writer and to retain customers through thoughtful content. 

It also considers the value of (reliable) data, editors, and rewrites. Elements that are often overlooked by fledgling writers. 

But my favorite pointer (spoilers ahead) is that your content isn’t a one-off piece. You need to keep your eye on the big picture (aka your content strategy and goals) at all times. 

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is And What You Can Do About It – Stephen Pressfield

“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated.”

Steven Pressfield, of ‘The War of Art’ fame, wants to help amateur writers navigate the tangled path to professionalism. 

He also wants to swear. A shitload. 

This book is the lovechild borne of those two desires. 

Amidst Pressfield’s anecdotes and musings, you’ll find truth bombs that’ll change the way you look at writing. Of course, there are plenty of tips and tricks that’ll save you time and heartache too. 

The book’s tongue-in-cheek lessons are easy to digest. Plus, it’s written in bite-sized chunks that are perfect for busy writers. 

Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience – Pamela Wilson

“The “lazy” approach means developing labour-saving techniques for getting things done so you have more time for other areas of your life” – Pamela Wilson

Building on the success of her own startup, Pamela Wilson became one of the most prolific bloggers at Copyblogger (aka the bible of Copywriting). 

Her part DIY, part self-help book Master Content Marketing tells you how to become a better writer in the digital age. The strength behind the book is her ‘keeping it real’ attitude. She promotes the ‘lazy’ approach to content marketing. 

 

If you need some help with the writing while you’re busy reading, check out BlogWorks. We can handle the writing for you.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you

How to Write Your Blog Posts Faster and Better
How to Start a Blog Post: 5 examples that really work
A proven 3-step method to finally overcome procrastination and get it all done

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Article Author

Hugh Culver

Speaker, author, athlete and founder of BlogWorks. I speak and write about getting stuff done and the art of growing younger.

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