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Jonathan Baldie's Most Popular Blog Posts

Today, I want to share with you some of my most popular content on storytelling, human nature, and creative mastery. These articles have been read and shared by thousands of readers, so there’s bound to be something here that you’ll find helpful.

Everything here is actionable, so you can use your new knowledge right away to help you become smarter, more productive, and more fulfilled in your creative life.

1. Storytelling Strategy

The first book I ever published was on the laws of storytelling as I saw them, and to this day I’m obsessed with the methods used by master film directors and novelists to produce emotionally resonant stories.

How to Generate Story Ideas — After chatting to fiction writing legend James Scott Bell, I rediscovered an amazing method for generating new story ideas. It’s very counter-intuitive.

Jungian Psychology for Storytellers — Although his ideas are often the target of ridicule, I’ve long been fascinated with Jung. His theories about the psyche ring true, and are eminently applicable to storytelling. Here’s my favourite book about him, a great primer full of interesting tales about the legendary psychoanalyst.

Eliminating Cluttered Prose — Right before I wrote this article, I had finished reading the 30th anniversary edition of a book called On Writing Well by the legendary non-fiction writer William Zinsser. This book kicked my ass. I think that says enough.

Writing Advice from John McPhee — John McPhee is a legendary writer for The New Yorker, and in this post I summarised some key takeaways from Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, a book of his essays on nonfiction writing.

The Power of Dialogue — Dialogue is the most efficient way for your characters to express their personalities. Having them say something that demonstrates their personality traits is instant, and the audience instantly understand.

Deconstructing My 5 Favourite Movies — Sometimes a good practical example does the best job of displaying one’s opinions on a subject. Here I lay out my (surprising, apparently) list of favourite movies, explaining why they’re on the list.

My Talk on Research and Planning in Storytelling (Transcript) — This is a thorough transcript of a talk I gave to a group of novelists in England. We mostly discussed getting a book published, and the pros and cons of self-publishing.

9 Books on Storytelling You Absolutely Must Read — Add all of these books to your Amazon basket, that’s an order soldier!

2. Human Nature

My second book takes a look at group psychology, particularly in the workplace. Too many of us go about our professional lives too absorbed in ourselves, failing to validate others or consider their needs. I’m hoping to change that by shining light on the often dark parks of our nature.

Louis XIV — Ego and Grandiosity — The legendary “Sun King” had many flaws, and arguably kicked off the chain of events that led to the French Revolution. Here’s a full breakdown of 14 lessons we can take from the famously egotistical French monarch.

Untying Your Knots — Become happier and more at ease by letting go of your ego, or as I like to call them in this article, your “knots”.

3. Creative Mastery

I believe that finding our life’s task and pursuing it with all of our energy is the highest path we can possibly undertake. My favourite nonfiction book, Mastery by Robert Greene, is the best introduction to this path of true fulfilment.

How to Achieve All Your Goals in 2019 — By far the most visited article on my blog, this post lists my best tips to achieving your goals in 2019, or any year for that matter.

The Two Keys to Mastering Your Craft — Can you withstand times of hardship? Can you take harsh criticism on the chin? If you believe you can, then you might be a good candidate for mastery.

5 Strategies for Focused Concentration — We spend too many hours staring at our devices or on social media. Here are five ways to focus more on your work.

Creativity, Inc. — Lessons from Pixar — I love the book Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. It’s a deep analysis into the principles that help Pixar’s team consistently churn out mega-bestselling films.

How to Read 109 Books in 10 Months — A long post where I lay out all of my tips for becoming a voracious reader. There is a list of bonus content for those who read through to the end!

Best regards,

Jonathan Baldie

P.S. Did you have a favourite article or find a new insight that’s been helpful? I’d love to hear about it.


Posted on: 1st July, 2019


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Please check out The 24 Laws of Storytelling, my book that explores the principles that makes some books and movies great and explains why others fail. By reading my book, you'll gain the same strategies used by master storytellers such as Stephen King, Christopher Nolan, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and many more. Pick up your copy today.


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