Being an artist is tough. We face the challenges of procrastination, self-doubt, and internal and external critics every single day. I have struggled against these forces all of my creative life until I discovered the work of Steven Pressfield. His books essentially changed my life.
Mr. Pressfield has made a number of significant contributions both on the fiction and non-fiction side, but it is really the non-fiction side of his catalog that I would like to address. In fact, there are 3 specific books I would like to recommend if you are a musician, artist, creative, etc - really anyone responsible for creating and shipping creative work.
The War of Art
The first book I would suggest starting with is The War of Art. The main premise of the book is to acknowledge there is battle taking place between you and the enemy which he calls Resistance. Resistance can be defined as the chatter in our head or the obstacles we all face that live in the form of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, laziness, or even the push back we get from family and friends. The beauty from this read is understanding that there is a bigger war at place.
Once you acknowledge the war which is happening, I suggest picking up Turning Pro. This book wasn't written directly after The War of Art but I found it to be a good fit after reading the other. The same theme of Resistance continues here but the added gem is Mr. Pressfield's encouragement to turn pro and give up your amateurish ways. It's all about mindset and doing the things that amateurs don't explore or even try.
Do the Work
And finally, once you acknowledge the battle of Resistance and develop a pro mindset, you're ready to roll up your sleeves and do the work. This third recommendation is absolutely powerful if you want to get that final kick in the pants to work tirelessly and do your best work.
Let's face it. We all get into creative ruts and Resistance gets the best of us. These books will help you fight that battle and empower you to truly become the artist you were always meant to be.