5 Books That Every Artist or Writer Should Read


The life of a writer, visual artist, or other creative isn’t easy. Sometimes you blow past deadlines or struggle to stay productive, all the while wondering if you’re truly talented enough for the path you’ve chosen.

The good news, however, is that your fellow creatives have been there, and they have a few helpful words of advice. Crack open the five inspiring reads below to find out for yourself.

Download the Next Big Idea App for “Book Bite” summaries of hundreds of new nonfiction books like these—all prepared and read by the authors themselves.

The Deadline Effect: How to Work Like It’s the Last Minute―Before the Last Minute

By Christopher Cox

A veteran magazine editor explains the creative advantages of deadlines, the dynamics of teams and customers, and techniques for using deadlines to make better, more effective decisions. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Christopher Cox, in the Next Big Idea App

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life By Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

By Anne Lamott

For a quarter-century, more than a million readers—scribes and scribblers of all abilities—have been inspired by Guggenheim Fellow Anne Lamott’s hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. In short, this is an essential volume for generations of writers young and old. Listen to our professionally-read Book Bite summary in the Next Big Idea App

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most By Greg McKeown

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most

By Greg McKeown

We’ve been conditioned to believe that if we want to overachieve, we have to overexert, overthink, and overdo. That if we aren’t perpetually exhausted, we’re not doing enough. But Effortless proposes a better, healthier way forward, one in which it’s easier than ever to do the things that really matter. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Greg McKeown, in the Next Big Idea App

The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life by Allison Fallon

The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life

By Allison Fallon

Drawing from years of coaching hundreds through the writing process—from first-timers to New York Times bestselling authors—writing coach Allison Fallon shares proven practices for getting started, staying inspired, and using one simple habit to shift how you feel and show up to your life. View on Amazon

The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer By Steven Kotler

The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer

By Steven Kotler

A peak performance expert decodes the secrets of those elite performers—athletes, artists, scientists, CEOs, and more—who have changed our definition of the possible, teaching us how we, too, can stretch far beyond our capabilities, making impossible dreams much more attainable for all of us. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Steven Kotler, in the Next Big Idea App

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