Friday, October 14, 2005

The Impossible List of Books

In about a week and a half, I’m headed to New Mexico for the Glorieta Christian Writers Conference.  I’m teaching three workshops at this conference and I’ve been working on finalizing my handouts then sending them to the conference for duplication. It’s just one of the many details the organizers are facing with this conference.  It’s one of the largest faculties at any conference with a great combination of professional writers and editors. It’s a busy conference but a great chance to see old friends and meet new ones.

From one of the conference leaders, I received an impossible request, “Are there books about writing you wish all authors would read to make your job easier? As an editor, do you often recommend a book, or list of books, to writers? As an author, is there a writing book that has profoundly influenced your work? This is your chance to pass along recommendations for your favorite books on writing--to writers. These books on writing can be general or specific, practical or inspirational, foundational or nuts & bolts. For a Glorieta Christian Writers Conference workshop, I'm putting together a list of the faculty's favorite books on writing to give to attendees.”

I will pull together some titles. I have literally hundreds of how-to write books on my shelf and I’ve read most of them and continue to purchase new ones (and read them). I learn something new inside each one. I’m going to send Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success—just to make sure it gets on the list.  There is nothing like being a bit self-promotional—and I’m certain a few others on the faculty are going to do the same.

I recommend different books for different parts of the process. For example, I love some marketing books while others are simply fair (and not ones that I talk about but I’m familiar with the contents).  New how-to books are constantly introduced into the marketplace and give us another reason such a list is impossible to pull together. I’m going to send in a few titles on this request. It will be fun to see the finished list—and to see how many of those titles I know about and have read.

For many years, I’ve been committed to reading a how-to write book each month. Some months because of other reading, I miss it but normally I’ve managed to pull it off.  Some times I read about children’s writing. Other times I learn more technical such as book contracts or how to write better fiction. Other times I pull up an inspirational book about the writing life.  Watch these entries about the Writing Life and I will continue to recommend books that cross my desk. Now to that impossible list of books… 

1 Comment:

At 11:59 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

A tough request indeed. I too would have considerable trouble narrowing down my favorite how-to-write books into a few titles. I'll be interested in reading about the books you pick.


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