Bloggers are readers. It stands to reason that those of us who blog, also enjoy reading. We read other people’s blog posts, we read online magazines, we read content on Twitter and Facebook, and, let’s admit it, we read the labels on cereal boxes. It’s part of who we are: writers and readers.
I thought I’d share my 10 Business and Writing Books for the Serious Pet Blogger. Note the word “serious”. It’s important. I am tasking you to be serious about your work. Writing is work. It takes commitment, dedication, and focus. If you are inspired, all the better.
On to the books. I hope you will share yours in the comments:
- The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. Seth Godin offered this testimonial, “This is one of the most honest, direct, and generous books about you and your life that you will read this year. It took guts to write, and it will take guts to read. Leap.” I am a firm believer that ‘work’ can also be ‘art, and when Tom and I met Jeff last year, I learned he was down-to-earth with amazing depth of insight and experience. He writes truth – not just his, perhaps yours, also.
- Zombie Loyalists by Peter Shankman, one of the 2015 keynote speakers at BlogPaws. I love this quote from Gary Vaynerchuk, “At the end of the day, all business comes down to customer service. If you want to win in the new customer-centric economy, check this book out.” Who is your customer? Yes, it’s me, the reader, but there is an important customer you should be striving to understand and work with… well beyond me or any other reader of your blog.
- Think Like a Rock Star by Mack Collier. Mack is both a successful entrepreneur and a published author (they are not the same and sometimes they are the same) and he’s a friend, although we have yet to meet in person. This book will teach you how to “cultivate an army of devoted fans” like Taylor Swift. It’s a book about brand evangelists, and you may be one…to this brand or that brand. But, don’t you want some of your own? Mack will teach you what you need to do…and, hint, hint, hint…it involves being serious about your brand.
- Daily Rituals by Mason Currey. Great book of stories about how writers and artists of long ago and not so long ago went about getting it done. Got that? They went about their daily ritual of getting it done. This is a classic you need to keep by your bedside. Hats off to Shawna Schuh for recommending it to me.
- Body of Work by Pamela Slim. We may have some copies at BlogPaws – she’s keynoting on Friday the 24th. Do you really want to wait that long to read it? Pamela is an old friend from our early, early days of blogging. Robert I. Sutton, a Stanford professor writes, “Pam Slim has written THE modern career handbook.” [Sneak peak: In “Create and Innovate, Chapter 5, she writes about patience and practice and swallowing your pride. She shares insight into her mixed martial arts classes and how technique, speed, and power are necessary.” Remember that word: necessary. Like serious, it’s a word you should be embracing.
- Evolved Enterprise by Yanik Silver. Yanik tells us of, “The coming business shift that could change everything…” It’s the evolved enterprise. Make no mistake, he’s not merely talking to large corporations or companies with hundreds of employees. He’s talking to you and me. One small piece of advice in his book is, “Write the business love story you want the world to buy.” If you want to learn what that means, get this book and read it. Now.
- Stand Out by Dorie Clark. The subtitle says it all, “How to find your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It.” The answer it to be unique but not so unique you disappear. Dorie not only outlines HOW to succeed with your ‘breakthrough idea’, she shows you how to get others to buy into it, with more actionable steps to success than you will be able to achieve in one lifetime. All you have to do is take that first step… I’m in! Who’s with me?
- Get Big Things Done by Erica Dhawan and Saj-Nicole Joni. This book is about “The Power of Connectional Intelligence“. Know what that is? It’s about us, connecting, via the intelligence of social. The blurb on the inside of the cover says, “Put simply, Connectional Intelligence is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning.” Whew! I’m out of breath. How about you? I have to say that this book kept me absorbed via the stories, the power of the stories, and the results of the stories. It’s for those of us who find our work necessary and who are serious about getting it done.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yep, that Elizabeth Gilbert; the one who wrote Eat, Pray, Love . This book is about creativity and how “big magic” plays into it. I wasn’t immediately drawn into this book, not as completely as Tom. But, as I continued to read, I began to feel connected to the “big magic.” There is a lot of talk about serious and necessity and getting it done, in this book. A bit of talk about dedication and desire. What do you desire? Are you dedicated enough to pursue that desire? Is it… necessary? Elizabeth wants the world to understand the mysteries of creativity and how each one of us has a spark of it, somewhere, inside. Whether you ignite that spark and whether you are true to it or not, is up to you. Just stop being afraid.
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I saved the best for last. This is my #1 pick. If you read no other book on writing or business this year, read this one, please. King reveals the stories behind the stories. He takes us into his world and how it was not constructed merely out of his imagination – it grew from experiences, and dreams, and thoughts, and conversations here and there. Throughout the book, he shares how serious he was about his writing and how it was necessary to finish each book, each story, each endeavor. He reveals the setbacks and the mysteries. He opens a door to his soul and beyond it we find…an ordinary person, much like us. Ordinary in so many ways, but extraordinary in others. I leave you to read the book and take away what you choose. For me, this book gave me more inspiration and acceptance than any other I’ve read to date. About my writing. About my blogging. About myself.
And there you have it. My 10 Business and Writing Books for the Serious Blogger. What are yours?
Yvonne DiVita is a Co-Founder of BlogPaws. She is dedicated to storytelling and the human-animal bond. When not working on BlogPaws, she writes at Scratchings and Sniffings and The Lipsticking Society. You may contact her at Yvonne@blogpaws.com .