Good books and the authors who write them make for some of the most helpful companions on the creative journey. Below is a categorized list of what I consider the best books out there on creativity, writing, platform, and pursuing your dreams.
I commented on books I’ve read and loved. Others made the list either because I’ve heard so much about them they just have to be on the list, or because people I trust (including readers of this blog!) have recommended them. (This post includes affiliate links.)
This book changed everything for me. Todd Henry reveals a five-part system for making creativity a lifestyle. Props to my colleague Twila Bennett for turning me on to the work of Todd Henry. (Pssst, Todd also hosts a podcast.)
This is a concise, powerful kick in the pants. Steven Pressfield points out that creativity is not a passive process. It requires a posture of all-out war against what he calls the Resistance (essentially, anything that keeps us from doing what matters most in our lives). Thanks to Rob Bell for this recommendation.
My brief manifesto helps you decide what your art is and how to do more of it. You can grab a physical copy here or a free digital copy by filling in your name and email below.
If you have not read this and you’re a writer, start here. This is the writer’s writing book. Anne’s irreverent, vulnerable style paired with solid advice on the craft of writing is pure genius. A classic.
What I love about this book is the examples Stein uses for each technique he presents. The chapter titled “Welcome to the 20th Century” (it was published back in the nineties, I think) is worth the price of the book all by itself. Thanks, Mom, for buying me this book all those years ago.
I’ve heard newsrooms issue free copies of this book to new journalists. Straightforward, no-nonsense guidance for writing clearly and compellingly.
Short chapters full of narrative and heart make this a beautiful, life-giving read.
Former CEO of Thomas Nelson and professional blogger and speaker takes you step by step through the process of building a platform, “the means by which you connect with your existing and potential fans.”
Pursuing Your Dreams
This was the first book I read that essentially said “You don’t have to do life the way everyone has told you to do it.” It ignited my imagination. I’ll be forever grateful to colleague Trinity McFadden for this book recommendation.
Ferris’s great gift to the world is his ability to question everything and break radically with just about every convention known to man.
This is the book that inspired me to begin waking up early to do my art. I don’t know where I’d be without Quitter.
This book is one of the most delightful reads I’ve ever experienced. Bar none. Bob Goff knows how to live a life, and he inspires me.
Donald Miller has come a long way since Blue Like Jazz, itself a very fine read. A Million Miles chronicles his journey to lose weight and live a better story. Beautiful book.
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Check out this great list of companions for the creative journey. <Tweet that!>
Question: Have any of these books been helpful to you? How so?