101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick
This book is awesome. It's one of those pick-up, put down books - but I read it cover-to-cover. It ostensibly for Architecture students and hobbyists, but I read it with a broader view of "Architecture" so that in my head it applied to any project - from setting up my son's soon-to-be-toddler room to finally getting to the re-writes on my novel.
Examples of how to do this (chosen by randomly opening the book and looking at a page):
page 48: "If you can't explain your ideas to your grandmother in terms she understands, you don't know your subject well enough." Apply to query letter and any synopsis ever required.
page 8: "Architecture is the thoughtful making of space." - Louis Kahn. Ever stared at a blank page? A blank room? A blank website? You're "making space" and hopefully - doing so thoughtfully.
page 82: "True architectural style does not come from a conscious effort to create a particular look. It results obliquely - even accidentally - out of a holistic process." AMEN.
rinse, repeat. If you create anything from scratch - science projects, skirts, business plans, buildings, characters - this needs to reside on your shelf.
The only thing I'm left wondering is why I took so long to read it.
Bonus: there's whole series.