• Michael Linsin

5 Must-Read Writing Books For Bloggers

There is so much competition for the first page in Google's search results that you have to find an edge anywhere you can get it.

One of the best places is in books. Reading books in general, no matter what genre it is, will make you a better and more well-rounded writer. Scott, the other half of Team Renegade, and I share books about anything and everything - productivity, business, history, leadership, you name it. If it's interesting, we'll read it.

But we always have an eye out for books that will make us better writers. Because, you see, the act of writing, and doing it well, is both a great challenge and the key to being a successful blogger. Readers may be initially attracted to your blog for the information you provide, but they'll stick around and become fans eager to share your work for the writing.

Over the years, I've read many books on the craft of writing. Some good, many bad, and a few exceptional. What follows are the exceptional. I put them in the must-read category for every blogger.

On Writing - Stephen King

The perfect book on the habits of great writing. Although written as a memoir, King shares the inside baseball of his writing process in a way that is both inspiring and yet somehow down to earth.

You get the feeling that with enough love for the craft and discipline that you too can become a bestselling author. You may never be as prolific as King, but if you embrace who you are and write fearlessly, you can make your mark.

On Writing Well - William Zinsser

A master class in writing non-fiction. This book had a bigger impact on my writing than any other book, class, or individual person. It delves into the details of writing well from beginning to end using examples from the author's own work.

Zinsser's thoughts on efficient use of language and his aggressive approach to editing are worth their weight in gold. Upon setting the book down, I felt as if I'd taken leaps and bounds as a writer. I still return to it again and again to this day.

The Elements of Style - William Strunk and E.B. White

My high school English teacher introduced me to this book back when schools still taught grammar. When in doubt about grammar or usage, this is my go-to. It's so simple and clear and yet timeless.

If you doubt its power to make you a stronger writer, just read anything that E.B White wrote, from Charlotte's Web (especially Charlotte's Web) to Here is New York.

Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott

More than just a writing book, Bird by Bird is a meditation on life and the beauty of taking it slow. It's also chock full of wonderful writing wisdom from Lamott, who provides an example of great writing through the words, sentences, and paragraphs she weaves beautifully together.

It's an inspiring work that will get you up off the coach and into the arena, fearlessly sharing your own work with the world.

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield

A perennial favorite among creatives of all stripes, it's one of those books that you can't wait to pass on to others. It's an honest and sometimes brutal look at what is takes - the obstacles one must overcome - to become a writer or artist.

Incredibly motivational, it's a book that you'll want your own copy of to read again and again or whenever you start to feel what Pressfield calls "resistance," which attacks us all from time to time, even writing greats like Pressfield.

The Next Best Thing

There you have it, the five must-read books about writing.

I recommend putting them on your list and begin reading them right now. They're that good. They'll help you level up and, through disciplined daily writing, allow you to leapfrog your competition.

Successful blogging is more about good writing than anything else, even the information you provide. Although nothing takes the place of time in the chair putting fingers to keyboard, the five books above are the next best thing.

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