about writing and life and God

Books for writers

on January 15, 2013

There are fabulous books about writing out there. I’ve been collecting them for years – and now I’m getting rid of as many of my collection as I can. You’ll find the list as one of  those extra pages to this blog. If you see any you would like, and you’re in the UK, you can have them for £1 each plus postage. Just comment and I’ll try to sort it out.

Some of the books, plus frog

Some of the books, plus frog

I began collecting years ago – in the early 1970s. Newly graduated and killing time before Husband No.1 and I set off for his new posting in Northern Nigeria, I was bored, bored, bored with the undemanding jobs I was able to get for a couple of a months at a time. And then I saw an advertisement for an evening writing class. Just the thing.

I’d always written for my own pleasure and in my gap year I had worked as a trainee journalist on my local newspaper. True, the write-on-demand and with no frills style had almost put paid to my writing creativity. But not quite.

And so I toddled along to the class (run by Scottish crime novelist Alanna Knight) and as a result, by the time we set off for Nigeria, I had stowed a portable typewriter into my luggage and the first chapters of my first attempt at a novel.

It was science fiction/fantasy and I finished it by the swimming pool at the senior staff club at Ahmadu Bello University. And the bug had bitten. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and my talents.

We had an excellent library at the university and a good bookshop and gradually I began to accumulate books to teach me about the craft of writing. During our home leaves, that beginning collection expanded. And over the years, I have found it virtually impossible to turn away from a book about writing or an interesting writer.

I’ve used them too. I have worked as a tutor for both the major writing correspondence colleges and ran writing classes from my home. I’ve coached writers in a wide range of genres, and found my library very helpful.

But I rarely refer to them these days. I’ve enjoyed them. I’ve used them. But I can happily let most of them go, glad to know they’ll be of help to others.

They’re a pretty eclectic mix, reflecting the various projects I’ve worked on or helped with, and the very diverse interests I’ve had over the years.

This year I’m hearing the clarion call to simplify my life, simplify my living – and a good clear-out is a great way to start. I’ve listed the top two shelves but there are (coughs, in embarrassment) five more to go… maybe not all today! Do take a look!


6 responses to “Books for writers

  1. Boy, that looks like my bookshelves!

  2. Brilliant! I like the way you’ve taken the call to simplify your life so seriously. I’m going to try and do the same by only asking for the ones that I think could be really useful to me right now, at this stage in my development. Because I could so easily enjoy them all! ;D It’s a lovely idea to offer them to other writers, and lovely that you started it all off on the ACW site – thanks so much 🙂

  3. spabbygirl says:

    I can fully understand you’re reasoning Dorothy! If you want me to send details on to other online writers groups I’m on let me know.

  4. Pat says:

    Hi – if you want to send any to the writers’ group, just pile ’em up on the doorstep and I’ll see they find new homes!
    Hope you’re OK. Away for a few days, will give you a call v. soon.

  5. Anit it the truth? It feels good to simplify. What a great idea.

    • It was Hebrews chapter 12 telling me to throw off all encumbrances that convicted me about the shelves of books I no longer used! Don’t know what will be next but I feel this is a holy process!

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