I’m a fan of Steven Pressfield’s books on writing and creating. If you have not read them, his books “The War of Art” and “Turning Pro” are amazing and their influence literally changed my life as a writer. I went from haphazardly writing stories that I never finished, writing whenever I felt like it, to treating writing like a real endeavor that I wanted to pursue. They are perfect for the artist/writer/creative types who just can’t seem to get their fire going. If you suffer from chronic writer’s block, I definitely recommend picking them up. Pressfield refers to that sort of stuck-ness as the Resistance and shows you how to beat it and move beyond it, for the most part.
The first two books in the series teach you how to become a professional and practice the right habits to become more successful as a creative person. His third book in the series, “Nobody wants to read your sh*t” takes you in a slightly different direction. In this book, Pressfield talks about how you shape a story, what you need to have in your story and why concept and genre are important. This book is very much one where you can learn the rules of writing a story, and then later break those rules.
Pressfield also outlines things in a very simple fashion and revisits the lessons he has taught throughout the book. Not all of his anecdotes were interesting to me, but I greatly prefer being taught things with a story alongside them, so it still worked.
When I started this book, I thought there might be some magical tidbit of information about how to get people to read my writing. Instead of a fancy how-to guide on getting people interested in your story, Pressfield teaches you the basics of writing a good story, one that will satisfy the reader and make them want to read more of your work.
This book also reminded me that good writers are always learning. Writing a good story is not an accident, as so many people who are not writers might think. It’s intentional and a significant amount of work goes into such a story.
If you are a writer/artist, especially one at the beginning of your career, I would definitely recommend picking up all of Pressfield’s books on the subject. This third installment was a quick read, just as the other two were, so they are worth both the investment and the time it takes to read them.