Well, it's a very specific list - books that help the creative writer understand their creative practice better.
I know there are people who just do it, and don't do things like stop writing for months at a time, or have to examine why they stop writing for months at a time. Ahem. But for those of us who do benefit from insight into how we work and why we create at all, these can be amazing resources.
The Artist's Way – Julia Cameron
Cameron has written a lot of books about creativity since, but this one is still the gold standard for creative recovery.
Fearless Creating – Eric Maisel
After you've been gently coaxed by Julia Cameron's warmth, Maisel is a nice brisk kick-in-the-pants. He's particularly insightful about how to successfully manage the anxiety of the creative process.
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
The best for turning off your inner editor and getting first drafts down on paper.
If You Want to Write – Brenda Ueland
“I learned…that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.”
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft."
Any that I missed? Please share in the comments!