The best books on creating content that put your butt where your heart is

Mitch Joel Author Of Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.
By Mitch Joel

Who am I?

I’ve been creating content since I was a day camp counselor (launching a newsletter for the staff!). Since then, I’ve done everything from interview Motley Crue, Metallica and Nirvana to Tom Peters, Susan Cain and beyond. I started my blog, Six Pixels of Separation, back in 2003 and my podcast (of the same name) is the longest running business podcast in the world. I wrote two books, Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT Delete. With that, I even run a private Facebook group for some of the world’s most known business and non-fiction authors. I’m a word nerd. I collect comics (and graphics) novels and spend too much time reading. I’m also a huge collector of books on writing, how to write, interview with writers, and other content creators. So… what’s going to get your ideas into actionable content? I think these books might help ☺

I wrote...

Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.

By Mitch Joel,

Book cover of Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.

What is my book about?

Six Pixels of Separation is my first book. It came out in 2009. That’s over a decade ago. So much has changed in terms of how technology has connected us all, and what that opportunity brings. Looking back on the book, I got so much wrong (think unregulated monopolies), and while I may have been too Pollyanna about the state of new media, the thesis still rings true. The opportunity for all of us to create compelling content, build our business/brand, and connect in powerful ways is more relevant than it was back then. Show up, create great stories and reap the rewards.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Why did I love this book?

There are not many books that I read more than once. The War of Art is a book that I read multiple times a year. It’s not a book about how to create better content. It’s a book about getting the right mindset and attitude towards creating a daily ritual. There is no book like this, in terms of both motivating and helping you to get things done. Steven Pressfield wrote a masterpiece with this one. 

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The War of Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide forsucceeding in any creative sphere, The War ofArt is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid theroadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dreambusiness venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy thatevery one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer thisinternal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve…

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way

Why did I love this book?

This is a big book, and it sat on my shelf for many years. I think I needed the maturity to understand its true power. It’s a book of muses, inspirations, and real exercises. In fact, it’s a program and a workbook too… one that will change your life. It can best be summed up in two words that will change your content creation: Morning Pages.

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"With its gentle affirmations, inspirational quotes, fill-in-the-blank lists and tasks — write yourself a thank-you letter, describe yourself at 80, for example — The Artist’s Way proposes an egalitarian view of creativity: Everyone’s got it."—The New York Times 
"Morning Pages have become a household name, a shorthand for unlocking your creative potential"—Vogue

Over four million copies sold!

Since its first publication, The Artist's Way phenomena has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron's novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems…

Book cover of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Why did I love this book?

I get a little gun-shy when it comes to books that may “feel” a little foo-foo. You know, gems, crystals, incense… This is not that. The famed author of Eat Pray Love writes beautifully about the power of finding and bringing out your creative spirit. This is another book that I could read time and time again. Beyond the pragmatic advice, the writing is a sight to behold on its own. After reading this book, it felt like a block had been unplugged… and the ideas just poured out…

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Big Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be. By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether you long to write a book, create…

Book cover of The Project 50 (Reinventing Work): Fifty Ways to Transform Every "Task" into a Project That Matters!

Why did I love this book?

This is not an easy book to find. It’s a small and short hardcover book where famed management legend, Tom Peters, lays out the how to turn your personal brand (and your work) into a project… but not just any project. Tom believes that every aspect of your work should be a Wow! Project. The book is 50 easy-to-grasp sections that have, without a doubt, changed my approach to everything from writing an article to starting a business. This book is a hidden gem… I’m quasi-mad that I’m sharing it publicly, it’s been a great secret advantage. ;)

By Tom Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Project 50 (Reinventing Work) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The common denominator/bottom line for both the professional service firm/PSF and the individual/Brand You is: the project. And for the cool individual in the cool professional service firm there is only one answer: the cool project.
A seminar participant said: "Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes." So, how many of you are at work -- right now -- on "mediocre successes"? At work on projects that won't be recalled, let alone recalled with fondness and glee, a year from now?

We don't study professional service firms. (Mistake.) And we don't study WOW Projects. (Worse mistake.) There is, of course, a…

Book cover of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Why did I love this book?

I’m sure Susan’s book, Quiet, has shown up on other lists. It probably deserves to be on all of the lists. Am I an introvert? Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with Susan, and she would joke that I’m not an introvert… just socially awkward. Putting our friendship aside, this book helped to ground me, my work, my process, and how to be at peace with content creation (which is mostly a lonely and isolated experience). Great work comes from digging deep… knowing who you really are (and finding acceptance in that) is a huge part of where that great work comes from. This book is just brilliant beyond its pages, and even if the book isn’t about how to create great content, Susan’s writing style will inspire the ideas, words, and work to flow. Promise.

By Susan Cain,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Quiet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can't name and don't understand. It defines who our friends and lovers are, which careers we choose, and whether we blush when we're embarrassed.

That fact is whether we're an introvert or an extrovert.

The most fundamental dimension of personality, at least a third of us are introverts, and yet shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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