What do you consider the best books about the writing
life (not those about "how to" or that kind of thing)?
Excellent question. I love reading writers writing about the world as they experience it specifically as writers. (Hmm... I wonder if I can get the word "write" in that sentence one more time...)
For my money, Stephen King's ON WRITING is fantastic. It almost goes without saying to include this one is you are a contemporary writer. But that's only because it's such a great story of his life of crafting stories.
Another I absolutely adore is Eudora Welty's ONE WRITER'S BEGINNINGS. This one is as much a biography as it is a journal on becoming a writer. And trust me, it's prose is pure beauty.
Next would be one from my all-time favorite non-fiction writer, Annie Dillard. Here THE WRITING LIFE captures the beauty of creation through both the natural world and the internal world of imagination.
But perhaps no one understand the writing life better than that beagle of all authors -- Snoopy (with a little help from some of his biggest fans).