3 Books Every Writer Should Read [VIDEO]

If you're a writer, here are 3 books I consider “required reading.”

They will make you a better writer.

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[reminder]What are you favorite books about writing?[/reminder]

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

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  • Great recommendations. I remember the Elements of Style from my English class days. It was a great tool to have. The War of Art is genius. As to Anne Lamont, I had not heard of that book but I will put it on my wishlist.

    Question: as software and technology advances, will the use of E.B. White’s book become lessened?

    • Mike Wright

      Bird By Bird is one of my all time favorites. Thanks for the reminder. Time to reread it.

  • Excellent choices. I also hear that book “How to Write Copy that Sells” by Ray Edwards is good, too. I also like “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World” by Michael Hyatt.

    • Christoph

      Haha 🙂
      Yes, I heard as well that “How to Write Copy that Sells” is a good book, I even read it and I can confess: It is an absolute must for every writer.

  • Caroline Barnes

    As always – great tips – thank you so much !

  • Great stuff, Ray. I’ve been meaning to get Strunk and White in my library for a while, and this brought it front of mind again. Thanks!

    As a fiction writer, another book that has been a fun resource for getting unclogged has been “The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing” by Monica Wood.

    I agree with Daniel Greegor and will put Lamont’s book on my wishlist!

  • Thanks for your recommendations Ray, and the wonderful seminar in Nashville last weekend. One of my favourite books on writing is Susan Tiberghien’s “Year to a writing life”. She is the founder of the Geneva Writers Group. From journaling, through the personal essay, short story and working with dreams she covers the basics of writing with easy to follow exercises. I also use it with my Business Foundation and Bachelor students.

  • John P. Vickers

    Thanks for the tips. I will check them out!

  • Thank you Sir.

    I just updated my Amazon wishlist with a couple of few books.

  • Thanks for you recommendations, Ray!
    One book about writing that I would recommend is “Write Like a Maniac” by
    Ed Lewis.

  • Hi Ray, Thanks for the recommendations. Just got Bird by Bird, and love Anne Lamott’s writings. The Bird story is an excellent analogy of what we do as writers. I’ll put the other two on my wishlist. Wishing you a most blessed day!

  • Great examples Ray, I’d add On Writing Well by William Zinsser to the list.

    Create a great day!

  • I LOVE Pressfield’s War of Art and have recommended it to my kids (who are musicians) as well as anyone who will listen to me! Funny thing: I had read about 2/3 of it a year ago and got distracted (?!). When I recently found it again, I laughed at the irony and delved into it, this time to finish it….TWICE! I’m looking forward to Bird By Bird so thanks for the recommendation. All the best to you!

  • Thanks, those are very interesting books and can only help me.

  • You’re a complete legend for not just plugging your own books!! Also, bit off topic, but can I just thank you for keeping your videos so short? I like things short and to the point, and you do that perfectly!

    My own recommendations would be Read Me.: 10 Lessons for Writing Great Copy by Roger Horberry and Gyles Lingwood and, if you’re writing fiction, Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell!

  • Suzanne

    I read Anne Lamont’s Bird by Bird 5 years ago and I agree that every writer should read it at least once. Excellent! I would also recommend No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty for some much needed comic relief as you learn how to slay your “inner editor.” The War of Art sounds intriguing- I will look into it. Thanks, Ray!

  • Always have great ideas Ray. Funny, I just finished my first book today and one of the first emails I opened was this one that said how writers think after completing a project…resinated well with me.

  • I just recently bought The War of Art! Thank you for reaffirming my purchase! I’ll be adding the other 2 in the near future.

  • I’ve read the first two, and I’ve heard other people recommend “Bird by Bird.” I’ll have to read it. Great choices. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

  • Chris Hartman

    Those books are great recommendations, but my number one book on writing is “Story,” by Robert McKee. I think it is more pertinent to storytelling than any other book I have read.
    I will try “Bird by Bird” as I can always use some inspiration and encouragement. The other books you recommended are already in my collection and have been invaluable.
    Thanks for all the great work you do and taking the time to share what you have learned with us.

  • ronald

    Thanks Ray your a great person and a great copy writing teacher i am reading or should i say studying How To Write Copy That Sells and i am very glad i purchased
    it and also thanks for the advise on the books to read.

  • Love these recommendations! I’ve read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and loved it. It helped inspire me to get serious about my writing career. On Writing by Stephen King is another must-read! Thank you Ray for your recommendations!!

  • The War of Art is definitely one of my go-to books. Another is “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It isn’t specifically about writing, but it IS about being an artist. And Julia is primarily a writer, so there are many helps and exercises in her book.

  • Joel Pilcher

    Thanks, I have put them on my list. My suggested book for anyone, not just writers is “Beloved Dust” by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Stroble, powerful.

  • I am going to the used bookstore to get a copy of “bird by bird”. On Saturday we are going on an all-day boat ride on the Mississippi River and that will be the reading material that I take. Thanks Ray.