I'm of two minds when it comes to writing books: I love them but they kind of keep me from writing. Weird, eh?
I went to college to learn how to be a writing teacher, taking a bunch of English classes mostly about how to read. Then I did graduate school in English which almost killed my ability and desire to write. Crazy how that works.
Now, looking to move on from public school teaching toward being more of a writer, it felt time to read Welcome To The Writer's Life and it was. Paulette Perhach has give me more to think about concerning the career of writing than I expected from the book. Her advice is good, practical, and well written. I even did many of the exercises in the book (I usually skip over such things) and at least one of them felt not just useful but transformational. If you're looking to become a writer, one who makes at least some of a living through writing words, then read it.
All that said, I'm glad to be done with it. The only thing that stops me from writing more than depression is a book about writing (or, God help me, graduate school). I get many of my ideas and motivation from the things I read — memoirs and essays especially — but when I read a book on writing, I go too slowly and can't focus on anything else. The book makes my head spin and hurt a little because I think of what I might be doing, what I should be doing, what I haven't done yet. All that thinking crowds out most of what leads me to writing. I should be able to control it, but I haven't mastered that yet. I can read a book like this once in a while but then need to go in other directions so I can return to writing.
The tough thing is there's another book about writing on my shelf: Jane Friedman's The Business Of Being A Writer. It will have to wait. I've got Dani Shapiro's Devotion in the batter's box and the umpire is motioning the pitcher to go ahead and throw. Then there's Jaron Lanier's Dawn Of The New Everything, Morris Gleitzman's Now, Philip Glass's Words Without Music: A Memoir, and — well you get the idea.
I'd ask is there anything than reading?, but I know the answer. The race is pretty damn close, but writing, man, that's everything.