I Would Love to Hear from You (and Give You a Free Book!)

shutterstock_133696601I want to know more about you. Why? (1) I want to make this blog more useful to you, and (2) I would love your input on some product ideas. Would you please take a few minutes to fill out this reader survey?

If you do, you could win your choice between The War of Art by Steven Pressfield or The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau. Both books have been vital to my own creative pursuits.

To enter, do two things:

  1. Fill out the survey.
  2. Comment below with the title of a book that’s helped you on your creative journey.

I’ll randomly select two winners sometime on January 17, 2014.

If you’re seeing this after January 17 or if you want to help me but don’t want to bother with the drawing, no problem, you can still fill out the survey.

Thanks for participating and letting me know what you think. I’m listening.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Diann

    “Do Your Art” by you was a tremendous motivator for me to start writing again.

  • Rachel

    How to Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon is definitely on the top of my list.

    • Thanks, Rachel! I’ll have to check that one out.

  • The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron has shaped how I write, how I paint, how I process life. Her suggestions for morning pages have even changed the messages I tell myself.

  • Tanya Marlow

    I love Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg and When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams. And Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, because – hey, it’s Anne Lamott. Loving all these other recommendations.

    • I know, I’m loving them too! Writing Down the Bones by Goldberg is one of my faves.

  • Is it awful that I haven’t read books about writing? 🙂 I spend almost all of my time reading books about apologetics and theology to gain topical expertise. Right now I’m reading “Beyond the Cosmos,” “Illogical Atheism,” “Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism,” and “Four Views on the Historical Adam.” (I try to focus on one book but can’t do it – always end up reading 4!)

    • I don’t think it’s awful, especially if you note in these books from your field what makes for good, compelling reading. But knowing what kind of writing you do, I think you’d get a lot out of Zinsser’s On Writing Well.

    • Natasha, you’re a winner! Email me (chad@chadrallen.com) your address along with your choice between Guillebeau and Pressfield, and I’ll send it to you!

  • The Everyday Work of Art by Eric Booth

    • What a great title! I’ll have to check this out.

  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years- Donald Miller

    • Donald Miller is a master! And he seems to keep getting better and better. Loved A Million Miles. Thanks, Lisa!

  • LeAnn Brown

    I am reading, sorting through really, the “2014 Writer’s Market”.

    • Very useful, practical tool. I recommend it all the time. Thanks for commenting, LeAnn.

  • “Love Does” by Bob Goff and “Primal” by Mark Batterson.

  • “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser
    “The Forest for the Trees” by Betsy Lerner
    “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott
    “The First Five Pages” by Noah Lukeman
    “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield

    • I’ve read three of the five and loved all of them, but not Lerner or Lukeman. Thank you!

  • Although I’ve been writing in one way or another for many years, I’m really just starting out on my “creative” journey. So far the only book that I have read that I would put in the category of creativity is yours: Do Your Art. I’m currently working on the first step of organizing a work space that will help me to focus and work as efficiently as possible. I have a creative partner. And, although I move slowly because of car crash injuries, I have time for the same reason. As soon as my office space is set up, I have a few ideas of things to start working on. It will be a matter of choosing what’s first and then where to go from there.

    I would be interested in The Art of Nonconformity, because conformity is something that I’ve already pretty well mastered. 🙂

    I enjoy your blog. I hope my survey answers helped. Thanks for this opportunity.


    • Thank you, LC. It sounds like you’re starting a new journey. Godspeed!

  • Oh, fun question and great answers! So many I haven’t read yet. One of my favorite books on writing is Stephen King’s “On Writing” (catchy title, no?), and I also was very encouraged by Anne Lamott’s irreverent but spot on “Bird by Bird.” I’m currently reading Michael Hyatt’s Platform book – we’ll see if it gets added to this list!

    • Platform is like a Social Media Bootcamp. Great tools there. Thanks, Becky!

  • If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit (Paperback)
    by Brenda Ueland is one of my favorites along with all of James Scott Bell’s writing books and also loved Elizabeth George’s book, Write Away. There’s so many good ones that have already been mentioned. Also, as Cheri mentioned and I have it on my desk now is Mark Batterson’s, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. You’ve got to love that title!

    • That’s a counterintuitive title if ever there was! I like Ueland’s very straightforward, simple tips.

  • Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo. Case studies of famous writers, and application tips.

    • Ooooo, that sounds right up my alley. Thanks, Bobbi.

  • I just finished listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath. Mr. Gladwell’s writing approach and writing style are an encouragement to me. After I finished it yesterday I had a newfound hope and direction for my own writing life. Thanks for what you do for the world of publishing, writing, and creating.

    • Gladwell is a master at weaving multiple and related narratives. His research is solid, his points are downright prophetic, and his prose is captivating! Love the guy. Especially love all the praise for Mennonites in David and Goliath. (My wife’s a Mennonite.)

  • The Artists Way and A Million Little Ways

    • I’ve been hearing about The Artist’s Way for years. Did you know Julia Cameron leads retreats? I’m a big fan of Freeman too. Baker’s sister division Revell published A Million Little Ways.

  • eat this book by Eugene Peterson, and Falling upward, Richard Rohr

    • Thanks, Nancy. I know their work in general, but i haven’t read these two particular books. I’ll have to check them out.

  • Sarah

    Filled out the survey. Strangely enough the book that is currently helping me on my creative journey is “Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure” as I’m working on creating a better living space to help spark my creativity.

    • Hi Sarah! I love this comment because my space is so important to me too. It’s all about the process.

  • “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser was assigned reading for my writing course. That and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” remain on my bookshelf for me to refer to when I need them.

    • Love em both, though they’re very different books. Thanks, Cheryl.

  • I would have to say the Bible first of all. Another book was The Art of War For Writers, by James Scott Bell.

    It looks like you are pondering some big changes. They look great!

    • Thanks, Jeanne! I don’t know about big changes. I guess they might be, but I hope they (whatever they end up being) will feel like a natural extension of what I’ve been doing for a while here.

  • I have a long list but a recent addition and new favorite is “The Art of Spiritual Writing” by Vinita Hampton Wright.

    • Thanks for the tip, Alison! Wright’s an amazing writer, but I haven’t read this one.

  • Todd Henry’s Accidental Creative.

    • Woot woot! Hey, Anna! Great to hear from you this way!

  • I have several. I would have to say The Bible, Love Does by Bob Goff, and In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson.


    Thanks for this opportunity.

    in Him,

    Cheri Swalwell

    • I’m convinced Bob Goff’s heart is about as big as they come. I’m always telling stories from Love Does. And I have the great honor and privilege of working with Mark. In fact, he’s just completed a manuscript for his next book–THE GRAVE ROBBER, which is on the seven miracles of John. It’s a TERRIFIC read!

  • I loved ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. ‘The War of Art’ is on my to-read list.

    • I’m embarrassed i haven’t read On Writing yet, but i remember thinking the back cover copy a lone was worth the price of the book. I’ll grab it for sure. Thanks, Susie.

  • Martyn Wood

    Books that helped me was the Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry and the The Deeper Path by Kary Oberbrunner.

    • Todd Henry’s Accidental Creative is one of the most life-changing books I’ve ever read. I’m huge fan of Oberbrunner too. Not only do we publish him at Baker, he’s just a great guy! Look for his Day Job to Dream Job later this year!

    • Martyn, you’re a winner! Email me your address (chad@chadrallen.com) along with your choice between Guillebeau or Pressfield, and I’ll send it to you!

  • I have several, and more on the way! In college I read Frances Schaffer’s “Art and the Bible,” I am in the middle of Jon Acuff’s “Start” and Jeff Goins “The In-Between.” Thank you for your work!

    • I’ve heard that Schaeffer book is good, and I can vouch for the other two. I’m blogging in part because of Acuff’s Quitter–another great resource.

  • For me a toss-up between Bird by Bird (Anne Lamont) and The War of Art (Steven Pressfield)

  • I’m currently reading “A Million Little Ways” by Emily P. Freeman. Other great books are “Turn Not Pale, Beloved Snail” by Jacqueline Jackson and “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott.

    • I hadn’t heard of the Jackson book, Anita. Thank you!