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10 Books to Help You Get Your Novel Written

We all need inspiration to get into the writing habit. The following books are off my shelves and I found myself dragging them out whilst researching for my 30 Days to Better Writing Habits course. You can watch the videos here.  And here’s a sneak preview of my upcoming book, based on what I learned during the course:

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There is so much written about the art and craft of creative writing that you could be forgiven for never writing at all, but that won’t help you get your novel written. I tell my students that if  you get words on the page then you have something to fix, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The following books may just give you the inspiration you need.

The Artist's Way

A lot of people talk about SMART goals. They’ve hijacked the topic of goal-setting and turned it almost into a productivity term that works very well in businesses. However, I’m not as convinced it works as well for creatives. Julia Cameron’s morning pages in The Artist’s Way are a much gentler way to kick our writing habits into gear.

Steve Pressfield book

Setting a deadline to achieve your goals is a worthy objective but it’s the daily habits that get us to the end of our books.  Steve Pressfield doesn’t pull any punches in Turning Pro. You’re either serious about your writing and treat it like a job – and turn up whether you feel like it or not – or go find something else to do with your time.

Deep Work

Cal Newport wrote The One Thing and it’s not about just making one thing happen a day it’s about managing your time for the whole day so that you don’t allow your time to be hijacked by by things that shouldn’t be on your list. His new book, Deep Work, talks about getting things done, one job at at time.


The Freedom Journal – I love my freedom journal it’s all about setting your goals for the next hundred days and how to achieve them on a day to day basis. It helps me establish what I want to do for one day what I want to do for the next day and it sets me  on the track. We all need some sort of process in place. Write down what your goal is each night for the next day, and then that night write down what you’ve achieved. Do this for 100 days and if you haven’t achieved your goal – say, write your novel – then you’ll be a whole lot closer than when you started.

Bird by Bird

If your priority is not to establish a regular writing habit then it won’t happen. If you haven’t allocated a time in the day for it every day then it won’t happen. It’s like all those courses that we buy that we don’t finish.

The Writing Life Annie Dillard

Two books, The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard that used to be my Bible when I was starting out and Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamont, will get you where you need to go every time.

the writing book

We talked about Kate Grenville’s The Writing Book here. It still remains one of my favourite books on how to ‘teach’ creative writing.

On Writing Stephen King

I have the original of Stephen King’s On Writing. This one is the twenty-year anniversary edition so I’m guessing I’m not the only one who likes it.

Joanna Penn Mindset

And then there’s everything by Joanna Penn. If you listen to my podcast, not many episodes go by where I don’t talk about her. Joanna’s The Successful Author Mindset is just one of the many ‘Business of Writing’ books you’ll find over at The Creative Penn.


If you haven’t downloaded your FREE copy of The Voices Your Head Writing Guidelines, you can do so by signing up to our newsletter.

Get Your Nov el Started

And don’t forget to sign up for my free webinar, Get Your Novel Started, on Thursday, 8th March, 2018, at 9.00am here where we’ll go through not only the goals and habits you need to establish to succeed but all the other things that will get you writing your novel and finishing it.

About the author, Melinda

I'm an authorpreneur, English teacher and podcaster who dreams of a life on the road full of adventures and handsome heroes, whilst making squizillions of dollars in book sales to pay for my chocolate fix. In the real world, I write novels and non-fiction, and offer my expert advice via online courses (as soon as I make them) and writing retreats (as soon as I organise them).

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