This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
If you participate in NaNoWriMo, you have probably already discovered that it can be difficult to find a balance between writing and living. Most writers have other things to do in their life – school, family, work, etc. – and don’t have the resources to write full-time with no other responsibilities, whether that’s what we want or not. A writer can be any type of person with any type of life, which is one of the things that makes it so great to be a reader – there is a story for everyone. And sometimes the stories we want are exactly that: stories about what it’s like to be a writer.
There are memoirs and biographies, of course, and published journals and letters. But sometimes I’m in the mood for fiction. What writer’s lives have real writers created in their imaginations? I’ve put together this list of eight novels about writers and the life of a writer. Some of the titles focus on writing first and foremost, while others deal with other aspects of the lives of people who happen to be writers. Some are contemporary, others are not; there are Romantic, Young Adult, Literary, and Intermediate titles on several types of writers. Enjoy!
8 books on writers and the life of a writer
Beach reading by Emily Henry
Love novelist January and literary fiction writer Augustus are former academic rivals and current neighbors, and they both have problems. The mourning, the trauma and the blockage of the writer get in their way. They challenge each other to swap genres and find out a lot about each other in the process. There are also clicks and feelings. It’s the perfect book for anyone looking for a mix of real life highs and lows.
Breasts and eggs by Mieko Kawakami
This book is told from the perspective of Natsuko, a 30-year-old aspiring writer, and Midoriko, her 12-year-old niece who keeps a journal of her inner thoughts about adolescence. I still read this one, but reviews suggest that the second half is from a young Natsuko’s perspective and is a meditation on whether she wants to pursue motherhood without a partner – or not at all. It’s contemplative and very funny.
The bottom girl by Stacey Lee
Set in the late 1800s, this is a charming novel by YA about Jo Kuan, the maid by day and “Dear Sweetie” by night. She writes an advice column for the kind ladies of Atlanta, doing her best to help mend the ailments of society. When she pushes aside race and gender roles, angry readers try to find out who Miss Sweetie is. Jo then receives an anonymous letter that could lead to the identity of her biological parents, and she has a lot of decisions to make.
Finlay Donovan kills him by Elle Cosimano
Okay, so most writers probably don’t have to juggle single parenthood, writer block, and being taken for a hitman – let alone ending up with a real corpse. But I guess you strength, and this book is a great read whether you find it informative or not. I especially love how real it is to take on the challenges of mothering young children and trying to literally do anything else.
Happy forever by Elise Bryant
16-year-old Tessa Johnson has just entered a prestigious creative writing program, and she has a problem: no ideas. Her best friend Caroline suggests that Tessa needs some real romance to inspire her, and gives her a list to complete in order to win Nico, the boy of her dreams – who unfortunately already has a girlfriend. Tessa is determined, but what if it turns out this isn’t the love story she wants?
Hazel’s theory of evolution by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
In this touching college novel, Hazel has to change schools and face her feelings about a potential younger brother when one of her mothers becomes pregnant after two miscarriages. Hazel’s best friend is still at her old school and they go their separate ways. She gets teased because she lives on a farm and finds it hard not to be interested in romance. She copes with all of this (in part) by keeping a journal, which is an important type of writing that can fit into anyone’s life.
Spoiler alert by Olivia Dade
April and Marcus both write fan fiction for their favorite TV series and share them under their anonymous pseudonyms on an Internet forum. But what April doesn’t know is that his online friend Book! AeneasWouldNever is actually Marcus, who plays Aeneas on the show. Who she’s currently pretending to be dating after an unfortunate incident on Twitter. Fanfic writers are real writers, and this book shows some of the ups and downs that can come when fiction meets reality.
Topaz by Beverly Jenkins
Kate Love is a black journalist from the 1800s investigating a railroad con artist. When she gets into trouble, she is rescued by Dix Wildhorse, a Black Marshal from Seminole sent by her father, who has promised her in marriage to pay her gambling debts. This historic romance has it all – Kate is ambitious and independent, Dix is capable and kind, and Miss Bev makes no effort to present a vibrant love story in a realistic (historical) setting.
Looking for even more? We have what you need. Discover them: