I’ve been reading a lot of self-help books of late. I’ve said it before, but the transition to full-time self-employment has been turbulent to say the least. So, when in doubt, I always turn to books. Knowledge is power, education is the only solution. I thought I’d share some of the best self-help books for writers out there in the hopes it helps you on your journey too.
In no particular order:
11 Self-Help Books for Writers
Girl, Stop Apologising by Rachel Hollis
Also by the same author in the series and actually the prequel, Girl, Wash Your Face.
To buy Girl, Stop Apologising, you can use these links:
This particular book gave me a couple of revelations which you can read about here, but predominantly, one about focus and how I should treat my
to-do list results list.
Part memoir, part actionable self-help book, it’s split in two: excuses you need to get rid of and behaviors you need to adopt.
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
This for me was less about the actionable things I need to do and more that I finished the book feeling like I could do anything I damn well wanted. A proper powerhouse of motivation. Part philosophical fooey (which I happen to agree) it’s full of anecdotes and memories of a life you wish you could have led.
Jen Sincero is seriously badass, and now I feel like I am too.
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
I actually listened to this one on audiobook. One of the most powerful books I’ve read, this is probably my number one recommendation. There are tons of actionable steps you can take in this book. I kept a post-it note in my wallet which read
I will leave my job in 2020
I signed the note and kept it in my wallet for two years. I ended up leaving in 2019.
His book is full of stories of success, tips and a boatload of motivation. If you’re a writer, this is one self-help book for writers you should not miss out on.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I adore Elizabeth Gilbert. Every time she opens her mouth it’s like molten gold and flowing inspiration. Big Magic is a whole book of it. Her style sucks you in and grips you until the finish. I’m pretty sure I sank Big Magic in one or maybe two sittings.
Very much a book for writers and creatives. It’s largely about mindset and moving beyond fear, but it’s an all-round motivational read that reassures you you’re not alone in the highs and lows of creative life.
I highly recommend it.
Indie Author Mindset by Adam Croft
I had the pleasure of reading this before it was published. This is a refreshing, short read for any author (trad or indie) looking to give their mindset a check.
Key takeaways are around how to view your writing as a business and the key things you need to do in order to set yourself up for business success.
This book pulls no punches, but it’s a fantastic guide and I highly recommend it.
The Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn
Similar to the above book, this one is also for any author (trad or indie) looking to give their mindset a check. However, this one is focused much more on the mental highs and lows of writing and the journey we take to publication and beyond. A great one to read and then re-read as you continue in your career.
How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh
*Winner of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards: Non-Fiction Book of the Year!*
This is another one I listened to on audiobook. Lilly is a YouTube sensation. But she’s also an inspiration. Young, ambitious, and super successful. She’s motivational and hilarious to boot. I actually recommend you listen to the audiobook. It’s narrated by Lilly herself and is so much the better for it. If you fancy a feel-good book and a giggle, go listen, NOW!
Deep Work by Cal Newport
This one is a mind-blower. It’s pretty heavy going, lots of science and research and facts.
But I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s all about the concept of shallow ‘busy’ work versus doing deep effective work. It’s challenging, thought-provoking and a must-read for anyone with a goal.
The War on Art by Steven Pressfield
He has a particular way of writing. You’ll love it or hate it. I’m the former. I find him inspirational, motivating and the provider of a jolly good kick up the backside!
Grit for Writers by Tamar Sloan
A fantastic book for authors, all about keeping the right mindset, digging deep and pushing hard to meet all your writing dreams and goals.
If you’ve ever felt the slump, this is a short sharp reminder to pick yourself up and keep on keeping on.
The One Thing by Gary Keller
Another fantastic book about focus. Gary’s point isn’t that you can’t do and achieve lots of things, just that you have to focus on one at a time. There’s science and research to back up his points. A fascinating read and one that’s sure to change your point of view.
Next up on my to-read list are the following recommended by some author pals.
- Do Less by Kate Northrup purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon USA
- Grit by Angela Duckworth purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon USA
- Daring Greatly by Brene Brown purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon USA
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon USA
- Be the Change by Marin McCue purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon USA
Please note because these are books I’ve read and loved, this post does contain affiliate links.
So that’s my reading list. What about yours? What self-help books for writers have you read or would you recommend? Let me know in the comments.
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