Becoming a writer involves so much more than just having a talent for telling stories. There are so many aspects you must consider before stepping into a career as a writer (especially as a freelancer), that you may not be prepared for.

In this listicle, I’m going to be suggesting some books that will not only help you become a better writer, but also help you with the more difficult aspects of a writing career, such as finances and self-editing.

The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less – Peter Bowerman
Ideal for: learning about the importance of finances as a freelancer. Bowerman teaches the reader how to develop a ‘marketing mindset’ and explains where the highest-paying freelance jobs are available. Money can be a taboo subject to some, so this book is perfect if you want to learn about freelancing and earning money without reaching out to other freelancers.

Crossroads: Creative Writing in Four Genres – Diane Thiel
Ideal for: experimenting with different genres, such as creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction and drama. Expand on your skills in any of these genres, or try something completely different using the variety of exercises included in this book.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
Ideal for: getting perspective on becoming a writer from a highly successful author. Arguably one of the most prolific authors in the horror/thriller genre, Stephen King combines his memoir with detailing the ‘basic tools of the trade’ that every writer should possess. It’s a must read for writers and lovers of literature alike.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print – Renni Brown & Dave King
Ideal for: understanding the basics of editing before submitting a manuscript for publication. With each round of submissions, Underground Writers receives a small batch of pieces that haven’t been properly proofread and end up being rejected due to lack of editing. While we do our best to provide feedback to these submissions, the ability to self-edit is incredibly important, particularly if you are wanting to submit to larger publishing houses. Being able to pick up on grammatical errors, clunky sentence structure or even plot holes in your own work will not only help you improve your writing independently, but also help you understand editing feedback from professional editors.

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style – Benjamin Dreyer
Ideal for: a light hearted, but incredibly informative take on writing prose from the perspective of an experienced copyeditor. This book is suggested for writers and editors alike, it is a guide on how to navigate the tricky (and sometimes incredibly confusing!) rules of the English language in an amusing and engaging way.

Underground Team

One thought on “The Writer’s Reading List: Books to help you become a successful writer by Shelley Carter

  1. Thank you. A great article. I have some of these (Steven King’s is one of my favourites) but not all. Have ordered Brown/King’s. Looks great!

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