I was visiting my friend in Belfast yesterday and she's got a pretty battered copy of Art & Fear. It's one of those books that you pick up and read, quickly immersing yourself, where you find yourself nodding your head vehemently, agreeing with most of the points that it makes.
If you're at the point, either as an artist or writer, where you're wondering what the point of it all is: why you've taken all the right steps to learn your craft; why you've spent years practicing that craft; why some stuff is accepted by others and why some stuff is detested, then this could prove a book beneficial to you as a companion to read on those nights when you feel that your work is worthless, stupid and what is the point anyway.
Or, you could equally read this book on one of those rare days when you've had a good idea, and it has worked its way onto the page/clay/canvas/photographic paper and it's nearly, nearly there, but you feel that something is blocking its completion.
It is a book about ideas, and of ideas. Yet it is explained in such a down to earth manner that you forget that it is a book of abstract concepts, which confirms and argues past all those long-held suspicions about art, the making of art, critical evaluation and reputations, and art academia. Put a copy on your wish-list or treat yourself and get past the fears that hold you back in your art.