TheRightTeam Book Recommendation from Senior Developer, Bob Walsh:
Serious writing is seriously hard. It’s not just imagining a whole entire slice of the universe you’re going to attempt to faithfully capture to your screen that makes it difficult–it’s all of the mind games that your mind plays with you, and on you, as you struggle to create as well.
Steven Pressfield is a master and has mastered the inner game of writing: his The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles is the single best thing you, as a writer, can read to become a better writer.
Do you ever feel like you are fighting yourself every time you sit down to write? Do you ever have days you’re not good enough to write? Ever find yourself doubting you can even write? If you nodded affirmative to any of these questions, then I can guarantee you will get a lot of motivation and encouragement from his writings.
There’s a mental mechanism at work here: The more you create, the more your mind throws roadblocks of Resistance in your way. Understanding all the forms that Resistance can take, all the ways it can stop you from successfully creating, all the ways you as a writer can beat it back like a moaning zombie bent on your destruction, is the focus of Pressfield’s book.
Seriously, out of the dozens of people I have advised and consulted as they struggled to create, not one person has not taken away a big case of creative ammunition from The War of Art. Get it, read it (it’s short, 190 physical pages, large margins), heed it, and read it again. Here’s a few of the key takeaways I’ve gleaned from his book:
- All of the insidious forms my own psychological Resistance can take when I try to write,
- What I have to do as a writer to confront Resistance and stare it down,
- What makes a pro, a pro.
And Pressfield isn’t alone on the mission to make it easier for writers to write better. His partner at Black Irish Press, Shawn Coyne, has just released a set of 5 free videos at www.storygrid.com. Shawn, an editor for a major publishing house for 20+ years and a very successful literary agent, has boiled down his extensive into the story grid methodology, a powerful way of mapping out a manuscript so you can detect, diagnose and fix the parts that aren’t working.
I’ll save going into the details of the story grid for another post – but better than waiting for my secondhand version, watch those videos and get it from the source! As to why you should heed this advice, consider the case of one writer who used a key part of the story grid approach: ever hear of J. K. Rowling? Yeah, that J. K. Rowling.