10 of the Greatest Essays on Writing Ever Written

Here’s a good, strong reading list of books by writers about writing. There’s nothing more uplifting than hearing about someone else’s book that’s still pushed under the bed, or to tuck an inspiring quote in your pocket for when the ideas won’t flow, and to read about the power of writing when your own writing is a messy jumble, when you have all the right words in the wrong order.


If there’s one topic that writers can be counted on to tackle at least once in their working lives, it’s writing itself. A good thing too, especially for all those aspiring writers out there looking for a little bit of guidance. For some winter inspiration and honing of your craft, here you’ll find ten great essays on writing, from the classic to the contemporary, from the specific to the all-encompassing. Note: there are many, many, many great essays on writing. Bias has been extended here to personal favorites and those available to read online. Also of note but not included: full books on the subject like Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Ron Carlson’s Ron Carlson Writes a Story, or, in a somewhat different sense, David Shields’ Reality Hunger, for those looking for a longer commitment. Read on, and add your own…

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