the top five books that will change your creative life

Top Five Books That Will Change Your Creative Life

mindset Oct 11, 2023

Music production is often as much about mindset as it is about aptitude. In today's competitive industry producers are increasingly tapping into the wealth of self-improvement and productivity-orientated literature to gain the extra edge needed to maximise their studio sessions and consistently be able to get into a state of creative 'flow'.

From the outset, MYT has encouraged our members to take a holistic approach to creating art and guided them towards books that have shifted our perspective and turbocharged our work in the studio. Whilst it is tough to strip this back to a top five, here are our hand-picked selections that will change your creative life.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

If you are a producer who struggles to get the work done and those tracks over the finish line, then "War of Art" by Steven Pressfield can be a game-changer. Pressfield's direct no nonsense message is exactly the tonic for music producers seeking to overcome the creative challenges and resistance that often plague their artistic journey.

Pressfield's exploration of resistance and its impact on creative individuals resonates deeply with music producers who frequently face writer's block, self-doubt, and procrastination.

By dissecting the various forms of resistance, the book equips music producers with a heightened awareness of the obstacles hindering their productivity and creativity. Moreover, Pressfield's practical strategies, such as adopting a professional mindset, establishing a daily creative routine, and embracing the concept of 'turning pro,' can revolutionize a producer's workflow.

This book serves as a valuable resource to inspire music producers to break free from their creative slumps, stay focused, and ultimately unlock their full potential in the ever-evolving world of music production.

Mastery by Robert Greene

"Mastery" by Robert Greene is a profound exploration of the path to achieving true mastery and excellence in any field. Drawing upon the biographies of historical and contemporary masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin, Greene distills their life experiences into a roadmap for personal development and self-mastery.

The book emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, deliberate practice, and relentless perseverance as essential components of the journey toward mastery. Greene also delves into the significance of intuition, social intelligence, and the mentor-disciple relationship in one's pursuit of becoming a master in their chosen domain.

"Mastery" is a compelling guide that encourages readers to embark on a lifelong quest to unlock their full potential and attain mastery in their chosen pursuits.

 Rick Rubin – The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Widely regarded as one of the best producers on the planet Rubin has worked with an array of famous musicians across multiple genres coaxing a host of classic albums from the artists he has worked with. Perhaps best known for helping to popularise hip-hop, he worked with The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and Public Enemy and was famously dubbed by Dr. Dre as 'hands down the dopest producer'.

The Creative Act has rightly picked up a lot of attention in the industry and it sets out Rubin's unique philosophy and holistic approach for approaching work in the studio. Rubin's book is not a step-by-step guide to creativity, but rather a collection of reflections and advice on how to cultivate a creative life. He emphasises the importance of being open to new ideas, letting go of perfectionism, and trusting your intuition.

He also encourages readers to develop a regular creative practice, even if it's just for a few minutes each day. He believes that creativity is universal and he advises us all on how we can all cultivate a creative life by paying closer attention to the world around us. 

Rubin takes significant inspiration from the natural world likening the process to cultivating seedlings and describes the creative process as a messy and unpredictable journey. He encourages readers to be open to experimentation and not be afraid to make mistakes. Furthermore, Rubin advocates trusting gut feelings and instincts following the energy that helps us to deliver great art. That's not to say he does not believe in deliberate practice.

Rubin like many of the other writers in this list believes you must make creativity a regular part of your life by setting aside time each day to create, even if it's just for a few minutes. Other great tips include the power of working with limitations, adopting a 'beginner's mindset, chunking down production processes into tiny steps when faced with writer's block, and shifting environments or perspectives to breathe new energy into artistic projects. To be honest this book is littered with so many useful nuggets that it is essential for the studio bookshelf.

If you like to have a hard copy, grab a highlighter and start making notes. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the audiobook if you want to feel the zen-like qualities of Rubin's deep dulcet tones. 

The Artists Way – Julia Cameron 

"The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron is an indispensable resource for musicians and music producers seeking to rekindle their creative spark and overcome the creative obstacles that can often plague their careers. Cameron's 12-week program offers a structured approach to unlocking artistic potential, which can be particularly beneficial for musicians looking to break through writer's block or find fresh inspiration.

Through the practice of morning pages and artist dates, musicians and producers can tap into their inner creativity, silence their inner critics, and sustain their passion for music. This book not only provides practical tools but also fosters a sense of spiritual and emotional well-being, helping musicians and producers confront self-doubt and fears that may be holding them back from creating their best work.

Whether you're a songwriter, composer, or producer, "The Artist's Way" is a powerful tool to help you rejuvenate your artistic journey and lead a more fulfilled, creatively driven life in the world of music.

Deep Work – Cal Newport


Constantly distracted and procrastinating? Endlessly finding new ways to avoid the hard yards of dragging a production to the finish line? If so then "Deep Work" by Cal Newport could offer invaluable guidance. In a technological era where distractions abound and the concentration leading to creative flow is a rare commodity, Newport's concept of "deep work" becomes particularly pertinent for those seeking to reach their creative peak.

By embracing and blocking into your schedule focused, uninterrupted periods of music creation and production, artists can harness their creative potential and produce high-quality work. Newport's book not only emphasizes the importance of honing this skill but also provides practical strategies to overcome common distractions and time-wasting habits.

He examines leading figures throughout history who have had huge breakthroughs by sharing a similar philosophy of prioritising 'deep work' from Carl Jung to the founders of Instagram. For emerging musicians and producers, "Deep Work" is a powerful tool for achieving meaningful progress, refining their craft, and ultimately making a lasting impact in the competitive world of music. 

Are you interested in enhancing your creativity and boosting your productivity in the studio? Then check out our Flow System course which provides a comprehensive framework for maximising your production output, embedding a consistent studio routine, and cultivating creative flow in the studio.



Too many talented DJs & Producers can't get signed to the record labels they need to be to break through.

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