For the ambitious writer who's no longer starry-eyed or nervous is STEIN ON WRITING (St. Martin's Press). This book contains insightful, experienced advice for literary writers or anyone seeking to improve his or her literary writing skills. Those without a strong classical literary education may not be familiar with all the authors referenced, but it's worth reading.
For many, November is an especially busy month. Therefore, to keep your spirits buoyed, there's IF YOU WANT TO WRITE: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit (Brenda Ueland, Graywolf Press). Its free-flowing writing style will allow you to read it in short bursts if you're pressed for time, and the lively excerpts from Ueland's students will inspire you to make the most of what writing time you have. Ms. Ueland was part of the Greenwich Village literary and arts scene (that included Louise Bryan and Eugene O'Neill), so those interested in history will find her personal perspective a treat.
For those who celebrate December holidays, it can be tough to find time to read, much less write. To help keep you motivated, open up Jack Bickham's WRITING AND SELLING YOUR NOVEL (Writer's Digest Books). Strong, practical advice and humorous examples will keep you from feeling guilty for not writing as much as you want and encourage you to think of the business side of writing. You'll be ready to start again full-force the following January.