Books I Read In 2016

Here’s a list of books I read in 2016. I started keeping track in 2011 after a conversation with my friend Matthew Landrum. I try to complete two to three books each month. You can find previous lists here:

2011       2012       2013       2014       2015

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If you found a “must read” book last year please share in the comments. Also, if you’ve read any of these let me know your thoughts. Here’s to a prosperous 2017.

Down and Out In Paris and London by George Orwell

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmul with Amy Wallace

Living Forward – Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau

Russian Fairy Tales  Translation by Gillian Avery

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Unseen Footprints by Sheridan Voysey

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Resilient: Your Invitation to a Jesus- Shaped Life by  Sheridan Voysey

Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield

Baudolino by Umberto Echo

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

Tolkien The Authorized Biography by Humphrey Carpenter

Raymie Nightingale by Kate Dicamillo

Ressurection Year by Sheridan Voysey

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The Pug List by Allison Hodgson

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Top Five Podcasts For The Writer And Entrepreneur

As a writer, I’m drained daily and I’m always on the look out for a fresh angle and new content to inspire me. Lately, this inspiration has come from podcasts.

Writing time is precious and I find I either have time to read or time to write each day, never both. This means I have to expose myself to new ideas in the cracks of life.

I listen to podcasts as I mow the lawn, drive to work, and quickly eat my lunch at work. It’s a time to be presented with new ideas so I don’t stagnate and keep rising.

Here are the top five podcasts I enjoy. They are mostly nonfiction and focused on writing as a sustainable business but also on the creative process. This can be a strange balance as an artist.

One – The Accidental Creative Podcast. This is about creativity, innovation, and doing brilliant work per the description. It’s updated about once a week.

Two – This Is Your Life With Michael Hyatt. Michael Hyatt is the former president and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. If you are looking to become a professional blogger you need to follow this guy. Updated about once or twice a week.

Three – The Portfolio Life With Jeff Goins. This is similar to Michael Hyatt’s and is non-fiction. I live in fictional worlds (of my books) and hearing how Jeff went from blogger to professional is inspiriting. Updated about once a week.

Four – Simple Life Habits with Jonathan Milligan. Jonathan is the founder if Blogging Your Passion. I’ve interacted with him on Twitter and he’s a super nice guy. He’s in the Jeff Goins breed where he went from a day job to professional writer/speaker through blogging.

Five – 10x Talk With Joe Polish And Dan Sullivan. I listen to this because it is challenging. It’s business related and that “b” word can be dirty for writers.

But for me, if I ever launch an e-book  or traditionally publish I want to have ideas for getting my work into the marketplace. I think that is the biggest difficulty we writers face upon publication. This is a podcast about growing your business 10xs from savvy entrepreneurs. Updated once a weekish.

If you listen to them, share what you think. If you enjoy a podcast that is not on the list, please post it in the comments section below.

Want more of Part-Time Novel? Follow me on Twitter @parttimenovel 

To Be A Writer You Must Suspend Disbelief

As writers we are bombarded with questions and self doubt.

What was the reason I decided to do this in the first place? Why do I keep going? Am I good enough? Who would read this anyway? I could never afford to write full time, right? A writer’s day is filled with these questions and more as we continue to write. It can be difficult to drown out this noise as we forge ahead.

Have you ever stopped for a moment and thought about how silly that process is? One of believing without seeing? Of doing when the odds are stacked incredibly against us?

Photo Credit: faungg's photos via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: faungg’s photos via Compfight cc

This is the process of suspending disbelief. I heard a great podcast from Michael Hyatt about it the other day. It’s the process of marching forward even though we know in the back of our minds what we desire is near impossible.

He shares a conversation he had with his doctor. He just returned from a sabbatical and she replied that it would be wonderful to do that some day. He challenged to think not about how it is impossible, but what would have to be true in her life to make that very thing happen.

Does this also apply to you in your budding writing career? What would have to be true for you to be a full time writer? Pay off student loans? A house with more space? A job with more flexibility? My guess is that with a little hard work, you can get there.

Don’t believe me? How much could you make if you took a few more shifts at work and then cancel your cable to pay down that debt? What if you did some work on your house to sell it? It’s a great time to do that. Why not look for another job with more flexibility?

This process may not be one that happens overnight. But would one to five years of odd jobs, scrambling, and searching be worth getting to do what you want to do for the rest of your life? Sounds amazing to me.

Today, do not think about what is impossible. Think about how you can own your career, book, dream, etc., and take just one step in that direction. Make sure it is not selfish and self serving but measurable and freeing for you and your loved ones.

Step today.