Can’t see The Forest for the Trees?






Writing can be a lonely and daunting business, which is why a good creative writing textbook can be invaluable for us authors. The right book not only helps us hone and develop our writing skills, but it inspires and encourages and gives us hope in what can sometimes appear to be a bleak writing world, with no ‘publication’ end in sight!

Are all writing text books as helpful as each other?

Don’t know which one to pick?

Can’t see the forest for the trees?

That’s where I come in!

Over the last ten years, while building the online writing school,,  and while developing my own skills as a writer,  I’ve read an awful lot of writing text books – and am still reading.

Over the coming weeks and months I’m going to review as many CW books as I can find, and revisit my favourite older ones, and tell you what they are like (in fact, I’ve already started doing this, see the Reviews page).

The next three creative writing textbooks I’m going to look at include one of my favourites by Anne Lamott (and first published in 1994), and two which I know nothing about but which look interesting.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

“If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this books for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eves open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.”

Forest For The Trees by Betsy Lerner

“With an early promise not to ‘Strunk you over the head with rules about style,’ Lerner, a former editor in New York’s top publishing houses, provides inspiring, uncondescending advice for writers.” –Entertainment Weekly

Writing a Thriller by Andé Jute

“For the most consummate professional as much as for the newest novice.”
Writer’s Monthly (UK)

Do you have a favourite writing book? Would you like to share your love of it with others? Write and let me know about it and I’ll try and include it. And a big thank you for all the suggestions so far. Keep them coming!



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