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5 to add to your bookshelf

Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: A Women’s Guide to Outsmarting Procrastination, Writer’s Block, and Other Obstacles to Living a Creative Life (Seal Press, July 2007) by Susan O’Doherty.

Psychotherapist Susan O’Doherty offers advice about how to avoid major psychological roadblocks to the creative process that many women face. Chapters include “What We Learned at Home,” The Impossible Position: Managing Motherhood and Creativity,” and “Damned if We Do: ‘Fear of Success.’”

Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life (Ballantine Books, January 2005) by Bret Lott.

Best-selling author Bret Lott meditates on his writing life in these ten essays. Lott discusses topics like rejection, publication, and humility, employing thoughtful and often humorous anecdotes from his life as well as advice from writers like James Baldwin, Henry James, and John Gardner.

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers (Riverhead Books, 2000) by Betsy Lerner.

This guide, written by the former executive editor of Doubleday, contains six amusing chapters about different types of writers (such as the swashbuckling drunkard) intended to correct problems in would-be authors who fall into these categories and six more on practical publication matters.

From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction (Grove Press, April, 2005) by Robert Olen Butler and edited by Janet Burroway.

This guide to writing fiction features the lectures of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Robert Olen Butler on general topics, such as getting into the mind set of writing and the cinema of the mind, to more specific subjects, such as writing exercises and the analysis of short stories.

The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) by Alice W. Flaherty.

Penned by a practicing neurologist, this guide investigates the neurological processes that cause and accompany writing. It includes chapters on topics such as creativity, hypergraphia (the overwhelming desire to write), and writers’ block. Flaherty discusses famous writers (including Dostoevsky and Hemingway) who may have been afflicted by brain disorders alongside modern-day patients and studies.

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These are great suggestions, Xine, and useful to so many of us. Thank you for sharing. And Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate? HUGS!!!