3. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
The author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek shares her words of wisdom in this handy book where she discusses the difficulties of writing. She writes about how hard it is to write and how sometimes it is necessary to destroy and paragraphs, phrases, and words to re-form them as something even better.
She doesn’t pull punches about how difficult writing can be, which is valuable for any writer to hear: Even the most well-regarded pros struggle sometimes. Her book shares this wisdom in enjoyable prose.
4. Writer’s Market edited by Robert Lee Brewer
Long hailed as essential to any writer’s bookshelf, Writer’s Market helps aspiring writers become published ones.
This weighty tome includes articles about writing as well as interviews with authors, editors, and publishers, but the meat of this book is the listings. It contains hundreds of pages of suggested markets for nonfiction writers as well as those looking to sell short stories, including details for how to pitch your work.
Writer’s Market is updated annually and contains incredibly valuable tips — such as what percentage of a magazine’s stories are written by freelancers — that are a huge aid for any writer looking to break into a new market.
5. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
This classic book targets nonfiction writers and includes writing tips as well as the fundamentals of craft. Zinsser discusses many forms of writing, from interviewing and telling stories about people to writing about travel. He even delves into business writing, art criticism, and sharing pieces about family via the art of personal memoir.
Whatever kind of writing you’re into, Zinsser will have at least a few tips for you.