8 Best Non-Screenwriting Books That Will Help You Become a Screenwriter.

A list of life-changing books not about screenwriting that will do wonders for your writing craft and career.

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by Script Reader Pro in Best Screenwriting Books
July 31, 2021 4 comments
screenwriting books

8 best non-screenwriting books that will help you become a screenwriter.

When most aspiring screenwriters decide to pick up a book that’ll help them break into the industry, it’s usually a screenwriting one. (You can read our selection here of the best screenwriting books to read.)

But you’re not “most” screenwriters.

You’re a writer who thinks outside the box (otherwise you wouldn’t be on this page 🙂

Learning how to write is one thing, but what about all the other factors that can influence whether we become successful writers or not?

Things like fear of failure, productivity, creativity, motivation, the ego, stress, sleep, inspiration and so on.

This is why we’ve put together this list of the best non-screenwriting books that’ll help you break into the industry. These eight books have literally changed people’s lives.

And potentially they can change yours too.

[Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase a book we will get a small commission at zero extra cost to you.]

1. The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits that Will Transform Your Life Before 8 a.m. by Hal Elrod.

best non-screenwriting books

Favorite quote. “If someone is not experiencing the levels of success they want—no matter what the area—they simply haven’t committed to putting the necessary habits in place which will create the results they want.”

What’s the skinny? Rather than waking up tired, lethargic and stressed, learn how to wake up like it’s Christmas every morning. This achieved by mastering six key habits to be followed every morning, giving you more energy, focus and motivation throughout the day.

How can I apply this to screenwriting? If you struggle to find time to write (who doesn’t?) this book will help you find it. If you struggle to find motivation to write, it’ll do that too. A truly an inspiring read on how to get more of what you want out of life.

best screenwriting book

2. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules and Live the Life You Want by Chris Guillebeau.

best non-screenwriting books
Favorite quote.
“The toughest obstacles most of us have to overcome are the direct result of our own fears and insecurities.”

What’s the skinny? Forget what’s expected of you by society, conventions, family, friends, etc. and forge a path in life chosen by you. Redefine what’s important, what your goals are, and set about achieving them (while changing the world for the better along the way).

How can I apply this to screenwriting? Let’s just say “I want to be a screenwriter” isn’t the statement most parents, spouses or friends want to hear from a loved one. What’s great about this book is that it will give you the confidence to commit to writing, and its “help out others” approach will prove invaluable when networking.

best screenwriting book

3. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

best non-screenwriting books
Favorite quote.
“The Pareto Principal points us in a very clear direction: the majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do.”

What’s the skinny? Life can often feel like a daily whirlwind of emails, texts, work, looking after kids, cooking, and so on, with no time to get the stuff done we really want to get done. But it needn’t. This book will teach you how to focus on the one thing that matters to you above all other pursuits.

How can I apply this to screenwriting? As an aspiring screenwriter, this book will teach you several invaluable lessons: how to be more focused, more productive and build momentum toward your goal of breaking into the movie industry.

best screenwriting book

4. So, You’re a Creative Genius… Now What? by Carl King.

best non-screenwriting books
Favorite quote.
“I can tell you this with 100 percent sincerity: moving to Los Angeles is the best decision I have ever made.”

What’s the skinny? A ramshackle but brilliant crash course on how to earn a living as a creative, that takes in everything from the “creative career process,” to “the how-to vs. the why-to,” to “building your spaceship” (workspace).

How can I apply this to screenwriting? In a similar vein to Chris Guillebeau’s book, The Art of Non-Conformity, there’s a ton of great advice in here on how to freelance as a creative as well as carve out your own space as a screenwriter.

best screenwriting book

best screenwriting book

5. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill


best non-screenwriting books
Favorite quote.
“Truly, thoughts are things, and powerful things at that, when mixed with purpose, persistence and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects.”

What’s the skinny? First published in 1937, this is the definitive guide to using visualization and the power of thought to joining the ranks of the super-successful. It’s emphasis is on making money, but at its core is a message about changing your mindset to achieve whatever you want in life.

How can I apply this to screenwriting? You’ve probably heard about Jim Carrey writing himself a 10-million dollar check in 1987, “For acting services rendered” and dating it for Thanksgiving 1995? And then visualizing it happening for years before receiving a check in 1994 for Dumb and Dumber? That’s pure Hill.

best screenwriting book

6. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield.

best screenwriting booksFavorite quote. “Casting yourself as a victim is the antithesis of doing your work. Don’t do it. If you’re doing it, stop.”

What’s the skinny? As Pressfield says, “We don’t tell ourselves, ‘I’m never going to write my symphony.’ Instead we say, ‘I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.’” That’s what he calls Resistance—the thing stopping us from putting our butt in the chair and doing the work. And that’s what this book will help you overcome.

How can I apply this to screenwriting? What writer hasn’t suffered from procrastination, writer’s block, fear and self-doubt? This book is essential reading for every screenwriter who wants to overcome that inner demon called Resistance to pursuing what you really know you should be pursuing in life.

best screenwriting book

7. Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey.

best non-screenwriting books
Favorite quote.
“Why should you care how your brain works? For one thing, it’s running the show.”

What’s the skinny? We all know about the benefits of exercise. And that we should all probably be doing more of it. The problem is, unless you’re a gym bunny, exercise can be a really hard habit to keep up. This book, however, makes it easier by explaining how it’s not just good for your heart and muscles, but actually physically remodels the brain for peak performance.

How can I apply this to screenwriting? As screenwriting is one of the most focused, brain draining activities someone can do, it makes sense to make sure that your brain is in its best possible shape. And as Ratey explains, this can be achieved simply by breaking a sweat once in a while.

best screenwriting book

8. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

best non-screenwriting books
Favorite quote.
“Problems are mind-made and need time to survive. The cannot survive in the actuality of the Now. Focus your attention on the Now and tell me what problem you have at this moment.”

What’s the skinny? Seeing as The Power of Now has been translated into over thirty languages and sold over two million copies worldwide, there’s a good chance you already own a copy. If you don’t, this is probably the ultimate book out there on personal growth and defeating our biggest enemy—the mind.

How can I apply this to screenwriting? Learn how to calm the mind—stopping it from jumping backward into the past or forward into the future—and find peace in the present moment, whenever you sit down to write and beyond.

best screenwriting book

Best non-screenwriting books conclusion.

It’s something of a cliche now but you’re only a writer if you write. Everyday.

Being able to write everyday, though, also means being in the right state of mind. We all know how hard it can be to write when other things in life aren’t going as smoothly as they maybe could be.

With this in mind, we hope the books we’ve outlined in this post will help your writing career indirectly by increasing your creativity, motivation and inspiration. All pretty essential ingredients for any aspiring writer we think.

Let us know in the comments section below what non-screenwriting books you think should make the list.

  1. A T says:

    Rainer Maria Rilke
    ‘Letters to a Young Poet’

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, AT!

  2. Adele paul says:

    It really thoughtful I recommend it I believe it can really help thanks alot

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for reading Adele!

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