Recommended Writing Texts

Recommended Writing Texts

I’ve linked what titles I can to in an effort to support independent bookstores. Please order from your local brick-and-mortar store if possible.

Getting Started

Baldwin, Christina. Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice. New York: Bantam, 1990.

Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. New York: TarcherPerigree, 1992.

Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1986.

Lamott, Anne. Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.

Developing the Craft

Andrew, Elizabeth Jarrett. Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice. Boston, MA: Skinner House Books, 2018.

Andrew, Elizabeth Jarrett. Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art & Practice of Spiritual Memoir. Boston, MA: Skinner House Books, 2000.

Andrew, Elizabeth Jarrett. The Release: Creativity and Freedom After the Writing is Done. Boston, MA: Skinner House Books, 2024.

Barrington, Judith. Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art. Portland, OR: The Eighth Mountain Press, 2002.

Forche, Carolyn and Philip Gerard, eds. Writing Creative Nonfiction. Cincinatti, OH: Story Press, 2001.

Gornick, Vivian. The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.

Miller, Brenda and Suzanne Paola. Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction. New York: McGraw Hill, 2005.

Moore, Dinty. The Mindful Writer. New York: Wisdom Publications, 2016.

Willis, Meredith Sue. Deep Revision: A Guide for Teachers, Students, and Other Writers. New York: Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 1993.

Zinsser, William, ed. Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

Zinsser, William, ed. Spiritual Quests: The Art and Craft of Religious Writing. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

The Art of… (series). Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press.

Exploring the Process

Bayles, David and Ted Orland. Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. Santa Cruz, CA: Saint Paul, MN: Image Continuum Press, 2001.

Bradbury, Ray. Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You. New York: Bantam, 1992.

DeSalvo, Louise. Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives. Boston, MA: Beacon Press,1999.

Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life. New York: HarperCollins, 1989.

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000.

Pressfield, Steven. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. New York: Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012.

Stafford, William. Writing the Australian Crawl. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1978.

Creative Philosophy

Daido Loori, John. The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

Gardner, John. On Moral Fiction. New York: Basic Books, 1978.

Hyde, Lewis. The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World. New York: Vintage, 1983.

Loori, John Daido. The Zen of Creativity. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005. 

O’Connor, Flannery. Mystery and Manners. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1957.

Turchi, Peter. Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press, 2007.

Ueland, Brenda. If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 1987.

Ueland, Brenda. Strength to Your Sword Arm. Duluth, MN: Holy Cow! Press, 1996.

Writing as a Spiritual Practice

Hering, Karen. Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within. Hillsboro, OR: Atria Books/Beyond Words, 2013.

Schneider, Pat. How the Light Gets In. Oxford University Press 2013