Returning to a Ritual: Reading a Writing Book Each Day

Andi Cumbo-Floyd
May 10, 2017 · 3 min read

For a long period of my life, I read a chapter of a writing book every morning with my coffee. It was one of the best things I did for myself when I was just getting serious about my writer’s life. I’m inclined to go back to this practice because it kept me so grounded and fed my writer’s mind without gobbling up my actual writing time. If you’d like to try that practice with me, please do.

My First Three Writing Reads

Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast by Nicole Gullota — Poems and food. . . seriously! Does it get better? In Nicole’s beautiful book, she pairs a poem with a recipe, and it is one of the most scrumptious things — both in terms of language and cuisine — that I have ever read. It’s so good that I’m beginning to understand why people read cookbooks. If you, like me, use poetry as part of your writing process or if you’d just like to have some great recipes that go with great words, you’ll want to grab this one.

The Story Cure: A Book Doctor’s Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir by Dinty W. Moore — Dinty Moore is one of those people I go to when I need good, no-nonsense writing advice, and so I am very excited about his new book. As someone who works with writers for a living, I know that finishing a book is one of the hardest things to do, and so I’m thrilled that Moore’s book is intended to get us all closer to that goal. Oh, and yeah, he’s funny, too. If you need advice about writing a gripping, powerful novel or memoir and want to laugh, too, get this book.

Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin — In the latest issue of The Writer’s Chronicle, Le Guin is interviewed about writing, and she talks about this book a great deal. She says it’s a guide for more advanced writers, so maybe hold off on this one until you’ve been at this a while and need a bigger kick in the pants. But her wisdom on these pages is forthright and powerful. She doesn’t pull punches about writing for the market, but she also holds out a great deal of grace about the challenges of the writing life. If you want to be moved by one of the greatest writing minds living today, you’ll want this one.

Join me?

Are you interested in trying out this practice of a chapter a day with me? Let me know in the comments below. Does a chapter a day sound good? Any books you want to start with?

I’ll check in here from time to time to see how you’re doing. Here’s to reading about writing, one of my favorite things.

If I may, I’d like to suggest my writing book Discover Your Writing Self as an option for your reading about writing. It’s made up of 31 lessons about everything from whether you like to use an outline or not to what stops you from finishing a project. I’d love to read your honest review of the book on Amazon or any other book site if you have or do read it. Thanks.

Originally published at andilit.com on May 10, 2017.

Andi Cumbo-Floyd

Written by

Author of Discover Your Writing Self, Writing Day In and Day Out, Steele Secrets, &The Slaves Have Names. Editor. Farmer. Believer. http://www.andilit.com