Recommended Books For Christian Writers

Writing Books

They say that writers should be readers first, and why not combine the two? I love reading books that help and encourage me to grow in the business, craft, and calling of writing.

Recommended Books for Christian Writers

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Here's a few of my favorite books for Christian writers, in no particular order:

Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (not me!) by Shannon Popkin and Kate Motaung

This is one book that I absolutely love to read every year. We know as Christian writers we're supposed to build a platform so that others can hear our message (and hopefully buy our books should we feel led to write and publish any). But building a platform can feel icky or distracting. This book is filled with great reminders of why building a platform is a great way to share the Gospel and words of hope with the whole world. I loved the use of Scriptures throughout to help make the message clear.

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle

I've read this book twice and will probably find myself reading it again sometime. It is such a beautifully written book about how faith and creativity are intertwined. Her premise is simple: we create because we were created in the image of a creative God. I love her advice about how to create art that reflects our faith gently, and about how creating (writing) daily helps us grow in our own faith and walk out our faith.

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

This book is so helpful for clearing away any writer's block. Cameron shows you strategies to clear those mental cobwebs and get the writing flowing. She teaches you to practice morning pages (freewriting several pages of whatever is on your mind so your mind is clear to get to your writing later), the practice of artist dates, and more. I recommend reading a chapter a day for inspiration and exercises to help you get the creativity and the writing flowing until you've developed a writing practice that works well for you.

Christian Writers Market Guide by Steve Laube

This book is updated yearly, and is a must-have resource for anyone wanting to take their writing more seriously and/or find ways to publish your book. Filled with lists of Christian agents, publishers, writing conferences, writing groups, magazines accepting submissions, and so much more, this book is worth every penny.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Writing can be overwhelming. How do you know where to get started? Just take it one thing at a time (like writing about one bird at a time when you have a huge report about birds due). This is Lamott's first piece of advice (and explains the title) and there's plenty more advice where that comes from. There is a tad bit of language, but full of helpful stories and hints to encourage writers.

Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Creativity, Calling, and the Mystery of Making by Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is an awesome fantasy writer and musician, and his book to encourage us about the beauty of creativity and community is no exception. Part memoir and part advice, his message about creating and writing with God is clear and powerful. His writing is so beautiful. For example: "Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor too, by making worlds and works of beauty that blanket the earth like flowers."

As an added bonus, the little moon on the cover and the spine glow in the dark. :)

The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman

Emily P. Freeman beautifully shows us how to let go of the overwhelm we experience and learn the practice of making decisions with God to help us focus on our one next thing. She teaches us how to overcome decision fatigue, how to unclutter our soul, how to make decisions with God, and how to "do the next right thing in love." Instead of getting overwhelmed with all the things we need to do in our lives and in our writing and on social media, we learn how to choose what our next right step is, and how to follow through on doing our next right thing step after step.

Prayers for Writers: A Handbook of Praying for Your Writing Life

I love reading a page or two of this book daily before I sit down to write. It has really motivated me as a writer, and also inspired me with new ways to pray for my writing. Not only are there beautiful prayers for all stages of the writing journey, but there are also wonderful Scriptures and quotes from renowned Christian writers interwoven throughout. I especially loved that each section ends with space to answer a few journaling questions, to help you reflect on and record your own writing and prayer journey. (And as a side note, I've contributed a few of the prayers to this book. It was an awesome project to be a part of that turned out beautifully).

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Not a Christian book per se, but this book is so helpful for learning strategies to make your writing a priority in your life and treat it like a business, as Stephen King does. The first part is more memoirish, with Stephen King telling you about his life, how his writing passion and career started and grew. The second part is filled with practical advice that can help you take your writing seriously.

The Memoir Project: A Non-Standardized Text for Writing and Life by Marion Roach Smith

Whether you write memoir or not, this book is full of tips about what to focus on in each story, how to structure your book or memoir, how to make your stories more interesting, how to show not tell, how to edit your writing, and so much more. It's a short read, but packed with good info, tips, and stories.

Feel free to share with us in the comments below any writing books you loved not mentioned here, or books you're excited to check out.