Last nonfiction quick-write of this series (and this one is that tiny bit more personal). If you start writing these on your own, consider how to progress from easier material to more serious, hard-to-write material. It takes practice!
Flannery O'Connor speaks great words of wisdom about who a writer is and what his/her purpose should be within the realm of regional, national and world literature. Published in 1961, Mystery and Manners is an essential guide for anyone who calls him/herself a writer, or ever intends to.
Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek may have been the first book to leave an indelible mark upon my mind and soul. Teaching a Stone to Talk is a beautiful compliment to Pilgrim, in its compact collectiveness of ideas, images and insights.