Having just finished Haruki Murakami’s book Novelist as a Vocation, I thought it would be fun to look through some of the various books about the craft of writing. The fact that so many books exist I think is a great indicator that many people are interested either in becoming writers or learning more about writers as people. I’ve read the books below for both purposes. This healthy interest is reassuring that books will continue to thrive in our society.
The number of books out there is also proof that the craft of writing is inherently personal and there is no “standard” to the practice aside from putting words on paper (or in digital program). I often need this reminder, especially of late as I’ve failed to work on any writing projects. I have two sets of “rules” hanging on my office wall to remind me of the important parts of writing. Time is my nemesis at the moment, but I hope to develop a strong discipline to help me work toward my goals of writing several novels.
Now back to the list of books by writers on the craft of writing.
As I mentioned, I recently finished Haruki Murakami’s book Novelist as a Vocation which I found insightful for many reasons. It was first released in 2015 but recently released in English for the first time. This book gives insight into Murakami himself, but also a history of publishing in and outside of Japan, how unstable writing as a career can be, and also how much luck he had in starting and maintaining his career as a writer. In the end, my takeaway was that Murakami stayed true to himself, as we all should, and worked hard, diligently, and persevered. Times have definitely changed since he began writing novels, but this book gives a realistic “look behind the curtain” to what it means to work hard at this craft. He removes some of the romantic notions often circling the image of author which may be one of the most valuable takeaways for most writers.
I haven’t read too many books on writing recently, but I have read several throughout the past decade or so, and I keep a copy readily available of those I liked if I ever want to revisit or look up any particular portion. Continue reading