The other night at our Calligraphy Meetup, we got onto the topic of creativity and started sharing some thoughts from books that nurture a creativity landscape in our lives. Here’s 5 of my favorite books on creativity that I am constantly recommending to friends and clients!
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
A longtime fan of Liz Gilbert’s, I bought Big Magic the day it came out and have read it at least 4 times since then. Her philosophies of carving out space for creativity in your daily life make creativity so accessible. You don’t have to quit your day job to cultivate creativity. Just follow creativity where it leads, follow your curiosity and be led to your next exciting project. “Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”
- The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
I first saw Danielle LaPorte speak at a Startup Princess event in Salt Lake City and I was transfixed. Her style of speaking is so intimate that it feels like it’s only you and her in the room. Plus, she’s a Vancouver, Canada native (soul sister from my home and native land!) and she shares tips on soulful entrepreneurism laced with Buddhist philosophies. This book takes you through a series of burning questions including:
- When do you feel powerful, free, passionate, incredibly useful, excited, inspired?
- What do people thank you for most often?
- Who do you think is really cool, elegant, or powerful, and why?
- Show Your Work by Austin Cleon
The chapter that resonated the most was to share something small that you’re working on each day, be it a video on Vimeo, a blog, or a photo. At the end of the month, you’ll have 30 shares, at the end of the year, you’ll have 365. It’s all about making your work discoverable discovering your voice by flexing it. A quick and easy read!
- Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
A brilliant book about doing it better, faster, and stronger. When they were editing their book, they cut it in HALF, deciding that they could streamline and still get the point across. Like Brad Pitt’s character says in Ocean’s 11, “Don’t use seven words when four will do.” The point is that you need less than you think you do and it’s all about actually getting to work instead of planning to work or talking about it. This will light a fire under you to get started.
- The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron
This has been a seminal guide to creativity for over a decade. I first picked it up as a teenager and was always enraptured by the encouraging quotes typed in the sidebar on every single page. My biggest takeaway from it was a practice called the Morning Pages, an exercise of writing three pages of stream of consciousness writing each morning before starting your day. In other words, letting whatever comes into your head flow through your pen onto the page without judgment. This practice helps you to clear the clutter from your mind and frees you up for more spontaneous creativity. Believe me when I say it WORKS.
What are your favorite books that help you foster creativity? I’d love to hear what’s on your list!