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3 Non-writing Books That Might Be Just What You Need Right Now

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by Naomi Write + Co. in screenwriting

Sometimes your brain needs a break from absorbing more screenwriting theory, so today I’m sharing three of my favorite non-writing books that might be just what you need to improve your screenwriting.

1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

By Carol S. Dweck

This book is a big-picture look at how to become good – maybe even great – at new things. Getting a handle on all of the skill sets needed to write a great screenplay can be a long and daunting process, so a book that addresses a healthy and productive approach to all that learning you’ll need to do is vital. The title may sound a little… infomercial-y? But understanding the difference between a “fixed” mindset and a “growth” mindset was revelatory and life-changing for me, and perhaps the same shift in thinking would help you too.

2. The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too)

By Gretchen Rubin

If Mindset is more of a big-picture look at how to approach your work, The Four Tendencies makes for a practical and actionable companion. Many writers struggle with procrastination and consistency, especially early on, and this book explores motivational styles and how you can create patterns of behavior. (I always say that deliberately setting out to make writing a habit was pivotal for me.) This book will help you identify what naturally motivates you so you can create the conditions that will make writing (and achieving your writing goals) easier and more fun.

3. How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen

By David Brooks

While this book is really aimed at fostering deeper connections between people, I found it to contain so many insights that are just as helpful to better understand – and write – fictional characters. This book explores how people construct their views of themselves and each other, and what really matters when doing so. How do we interpret our experiences, and what effect does it have on our sense of ourselves? What do we need to understand about another person in order to feel like we truly know them? Learning about how real people work will help you create characters who feel authentic and true – and isn’t that what we’re striving for?

That’s it for today!

And if you are still looking for a few good screenwriting books, you can find a list of my recommendations here.

WRITE SCREENPLAYS THAT GET NOTICED AND OPEN DOORS

Start with my 3-part email series: "The 3 Essential, Fundamental, Don't-Mess-These-Up Screenwriting Rules." After that, you'll get a weekly dose of pro screenwriting tips and industry insights that'll help you get an edge over the competition.

Subscribe