Of course, great writing is subjective, so what I find great will be different than what you find great. But almost all writers can name a couple of influential books that inspired them along the way, books that made them want to write something equally as good. I’m not talking works by Shakespeare or Joyce or Chaucer either, although it certainly could be. I’m talking about books that made you fall in love with reading — Lord of the Rings, Catcher in the Rye, Pride and Prejudice . . .
It’s even better when it’s a modern book, one written in a style that’s still popular. Maybe it’s an author you really admire. For me, Stephen King is one of the first writers I grab, because he writes with the kind of engaging voice and clear style that I’m reaching for in my own writing.
So here’s the game in a nutshell: If you need a creative boost, grab one of your favorite books and turn to one of your favorite passages. Read it aloud. It won’t be long before you feel that creative impulse return, the impulse that says, “I want to write something as good as that.”