Books I Use as a Professional Writer

Turns out the job of a writer involves a lot of reading.

I’m a full-time writer. I don’t write “as a hobby” or “on the side.” It’s what a day, full time, day in and day out. When I was a child, teachers flagged my talent for writing and urged me to pursue it further. I entered adulthood smug in the knowledge that I was a “gifted” writer. And then reality struck: There are a lot (!) of gifted writers out there. A lot. I quickly learned that if I was going to make a career out of the written word, I had to improve my craft. So I did.

Photo Credit: Photo by Judit Peter from Pexels

I’ve spend a decade carving out a freelance writing career. In that span of time, I’ve worked on my writing. Part of that work involves reading. There are loads of books to help people become better writers. Want to improve your attention to detail? There’s a book for that. Want to get more succinct with your writing? There’s a book for that. Simply need some inspiration to sit down and… write? There’s a book for that too.

As a writer, I’m constantly evolving — so my work in “honing my craft” is nowhere near done. But these are some of the books that have helped me on my path. I thought I’d share in case they interest anyone else. I should note that I write both fiction and nonfiction, so this is a wide range of titles! Here are my favorites:

There are loads of useful books about writing, so I’m sure I missed plenty! If you have a book you turn to to improve your craft or skill, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading! This is a space where I share personal thoughts — an opportunity for self-expression that has nothing to do with my professional writing. None of the thoughts or opinions expressed in this blog should be construed as anything but my own, nor should they be affiliated with any company or person I contract with or write for.

NOW that that’s done… I’d love to hear from you about this blog post in the comments! You can also connect via my blog:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alison Kilian

I’m Alison & I tell stories! ​I’ve been writing professionally for 10+ years, crafting everything from CEO blogs to bestselling romcoms. I ❤ a good story!