Some bloggers are horrible writers.
A great writer and blogger is always learning his craft. Of course, this includes frequent reading. But we as bloggers get caught up in only reading books about blogging. And this leads to many bloggers who can’t write compelling content.
But don’t fear. You can easily learn to write captivating posts! It just requires a small investment of your time.
I’ve listed 5 books I recommend to every writer, whether they write novels, blogs, screenplays, poems, or news articles. Don’t just read them: study them.
1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
What separates a good writer from a great writer? His command of the english language. There is no better book to learn how to properly write than “The Elements of Style.”
I read this in high school and I remember most of the lessons (obviously I make many grammar errors so I don’t remember them all). This book covers the basics, such as when to use a semicolon, and gets into the more heavily debated areas, such as whether to use he/she, he or she, or just he. This is the bible to most writers. And you’ll find many of the best writers constantly referring to “The Elements of Style.”
Get this into your library today!
2. On Writing by Stephen King
Leave it to Stephen King to take the mundane topic of writing and turn it into a masterpiece.
The first part of the book is an autobiography and one hell of a story. You’ll get an inside look into Stephen King’s life. You’ll see what inspired many of his stories. After reading, you may decide to become a novelist instead of a blogger (I almost did).
The second part of the book is a writing guide. Stephen takes you through his writing process, from brainstorming to polishing. He leaves nothing out. I’ve used many of his techniques and saw instant improvement in how I write.
3. Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
Admittedly, there’s a lot in this book that is specific to screenwriters. However, there are golden pieces of advice to constructing amazing stories any writer will learn from.
The best blog posts are ones that tell a story. Maybe not a story in the traditional sense of a protagonist and antagonist, but there is a beginning, middle, and end. Robert McKee breaks down the principles that storytellers have used for 1,000’s of years and shows you how to apply them. You’ll be able to turn any post you write into a beautiful story that will captivate your readers.
Plus, an awesome little bit of trivia, the author, Robert McKee, was satirized by Brian Cox in the movie “Adaptation.”
4. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Arguably the best American novel ever written. If you read this back in high school or college, it is definitely worth another read.
The best bloggers are those who capture a conversational tone – it feels like the blogger is talking directly to you.
No one does this better than JD Salinger. As you read, notice the way he writes and captures your attention. Notice how he calls out to you, the reader. See how he talks directly to you.
How can you do this with your own writing?
5. State of Fear by Michael Crichton
There are two possible reasons to write: to inform or to entertain. The best writers do both. And I don’t think there is anyone who does this better than Michael Crichton. Politics aside, he does a great job of driving his opinion on climate change in “State of Fear.” He is able to make his points stick through a memorable storyline.
As a blogger, you will always be attempting to get a point across to your readers. See how Crichton does it so you can do it.
As I said before, these 5 books are just a place to start. Keep reading, and keep expanding your mind. And as you do, you’ll see your writing and blogging improve significantly. And of course, there are probably thousands of other books that are just as good.
So don’t just stop here. Keep searching and learning to become a better writer.
Your Favorite Books
When it comes to writing inspiration, what are your favorite books that you would recommend to bloggers to help them sharpen their writing and storytelling skills?