5 Books for Creatives.

5 Books for CreativesFeeling uninspired? Burnt out?

As a writer, I know that I have to constantly be reading great fiction to write my fiction. Surrounding myself with creative people is another thing I can do to keep my brain moving. When it comes to blogging or even my new hobby of photography, constantly producing new content that I am excited about and that people enjoy reading can be exhausting (blogging…every…single…day…).

There is such a thing a Blogging Burnout just as there is Writer’s Block (although there are some disagreements if this really does exist or is more mental). When I am feeling blocked here on the blog, it can be so frustrating. There are some books that have helped me in the past, are helping me, or that I return to again and again.

 (whether you’re an artist, a blogger, a photographer, anything at all). I hope it’s helpful!

Here are 5 Books for Creatives:

1. Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water (hardcover)

Remember A Wrinkle in Time? She wrote it. I am halfway done with this book and it’s actually the book that gave me the idea for this type of book post. Below the title it reads: Reflections on Faith and Art and that is exactly what it is. I have highlighted and annotated like a crazy person. To pick out my favorite quotations or parts would be painful. I love that she is constantly asking herself questions, pulling from creative thinkers, and quotations she has been collecting her whole life. I feel like I am on a journey with her as we both try to find the connection between faith and art and to make better art through faith. If you have not read this book and consider yourself a Christian Creative, please order it.

2. Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (kindle|paperback)

I first read this in high school when I was taking a Creative Writing Independent study and I loved it. If you love Lamott, you’ll love this book on creativity and process that includes her usual humor, wit, and honesty. If you haven’t read Lamott before, please check out Traveling Mercies (kindle|paperback). Gosh, it is so good. Good writing like this inspires me to be a better writer, both in my fiction and here.

3. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (kindle|paperback)

This is set up kind of like a workbook. It’s been in print for over two decades and I read it years ago but I recently pulled it out again when it was mentioned on a blog (I’m so sorry I can’t remember which!). It labels itself as “a course in discovering and recovering your creative self.” This is on my list to re-do (won’t my old responses be interesting) when I finish Walking on Water. I love the idea of recovering my creative self as I have discussed blogging burn out with a few of you guys. We all struggle with at it times. Wouldn’t it be nice to rediscover that creativity and passion? We know when all the wheels are oiled. This is always recommended to help creatives do just that.

4. Glennon Doyle Melton’s Carry On, Warrior: The Power or Embracing Your Beautiful Messy Life (kindle|paperback)

This isn’t a book necessarily about creativity but it made me so mindful of the type of storyteller I want to be. I have been giving this book away like crazy (I mean, I’m not Oprah but as often as I can). She’s definitely a student of Lamott and guess who loves Glennon? Brene Brown who I also love. Glennon writes at Momastery (not a mommy blog, for the record) and I read it as often as she posts. Her openness and honesty, her desire to love and live fully are contagious. When I read her work, I want to write. Do you know what I mean?

5. Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned in Editing my Life (kindle|paperback)

I could have chosen any of Miller’s work (I am just finishing Scary Close kindle|hardcover) but I specifically chose this because this is all about living your life’s story or narrative with beauty and possibility. It’s about taking risks with your life story. I think in living great stories, we as artists, produce great stories so that’s why I chose this Miller book. It actually is about a time when he should have been on a creative high: they were making Blue like Jazz into a movie (kindle|paperback). Instead he felt blah and depressed and realized he wanted to live a better story.

5 books for creatives

Do you have any you would add?

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18 thoughts on “5 Books for Creatives.

  1. Sheryl

    I love Anne Lamott and of course my Morning pages are because of Julia Cameron. I read Glennon’s last year and feel like I need to pull it out again. Always love posts like these.

  2. stephanie

    if you hadn’t have listed walking on water, i was going to recommend it. it’s one of my all-time favorite books. another one of hers that is great is “a circle of quiet.” i don’t know why, but i just associate that one with a creative spirit, too.

    she is BRILLIANT!

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