I will admit that I am a sucker for books. Any excuse. I never pass by a bookshop. And although I primarily read fiction, I do have quite a large collection of “how to write” books. So… are they any help?
I think so. When my writing gets stuck, I often reach for a “how to” book. I don’t always find the answer but I do often get some insight into something which just helps me find a new way forward. What is particularly interesting is that I can read the same book on different occasions and each time something new will jump out at me, speak to me.
Reading fiction is also a great help in writing. With any new project, I find a couple of books which I will consult over and over. Maybe it’s the structure, maybe it’s the way the author switches POV – something in that piece of work will be helpful to me. It’s not usually a book in the same genre or with a similar story – in fact I’d hate that – but it’s some way of writing that I’ve found impressive and want to emulate in some way.
So next time your writing gets stuck, try reaching for a book.