On Keeping a Notebook by Joan Didion - A great essay about making notes that gets to the very core of the writing process
Write Like a Motherfucker by Cheryl Strayed - Raw, emotional advice on the role of humility and surrender in the often tortured world of the writer
Thoughts on Writing by Elizabeth Gilbert - On disicpline, hard work, rejection and why it’s never too late to start
Write Till You Drop by Annie Dillard - “Do you think I could be a writer?” “I don’t know… . Do you like sentences?”
Everything you Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes by Stephen King - Short, sharp advice on everything from talent and self-criticism to having fun and entertaining your audience
Why I Write by George Orwell - On egoism, a love of beauty, the quest for truth and the desire to change the world — Orwell’s ‘four great motive for writing’.
Despite Tough Guys, Life Is Not the Only School for Real Novelists by Kurt Vonnegut - A beautifully argued defence of the role of teaching in developing writers.
That Crafty Feeling by Zadie Smith - A lecture by a great essayist and novelist on the craft of writing.
A Place You All Know Well by Michael Chabon - On the central role of exporation in writing.
The Nature of Fun by David Foster Wallace (excerpt) - DFW on what drives writers to write
Uncanny the Singing That Comes from Certain Husks by Joy Williams - “Who cares if the writer is not whole? Of course the writer is not whole, or even particularly well…”
Where Do You Get Your Ideas? by Neil Gaiman - A meditation on inspriation
Those Words That Echo…Echo…Echo Through Life by Jamaica Kincaid - Another great essay from the the New York Times Writers on Writing series
Via Dennis T OConnor