6 Books to Inspire + Empower Creatives

6 Books to Inspire + Empower Creatives

We think that Winter = book time.

People are building their reading lists, recapping their top reads from 2016 and everyone is talking about this hygge thing. So we figured it was the right time to put together a little book list for you to cozy up to. Here are our picks for books to ignite your creative spirit and help you get your ass into gear this winter:

1. Writing Down the Bones - Natalie Goldberg

My favorite high school teacher gave me this book as a gift. This book will help break your writer’s block with strategies and challenges. It will help refine your writing style with practical tips and specific pointers (like advice on how to use verbs). It will also inspire you to write more often, to not overly-criticize your own words and crush out doubt. If Robert Pirsig says your book is good, then your book is good. Check out his endorsement:

“The secret of creativity, Natalie Goldberg makes clear, is to subtract rules for writing, not add them. It’s a process of ‘uneducation’ rather than education. Proof that she knows what she’s talking about is abundant in her own sentences. They flow with speed and grace and accuracy and simplicity. It looks easy to a reader, but writers know it is the hardest writing of all.” —Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

2. Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert

This gal’s name pops up often. This book was a quick NYT best seller, coming off the heels of her “Eat, Pray, Love” success. But if you haven’t read her take on the creative muse, you should. This book is about uncovering creativity and getting in touch with the “magic” energy that generates your best, biggest ideas. This book is where she tells us how she makes all these damn best sellers.

Bonus: magic lessons podcast where she talks to incredibly creative people about how they wrangle their muses. “The extra nudge we need when we’re feeling stuck in our creative lives.”  

3. The Content Trap - Bharat Anand

This author is a Professor of Strategy at the Harvard Business School. This deeply researched book confronts the ever-popular idiom “content is king” and proposes that connection and community is far more important. Seth Godin thinks Anand is on to something: A very smart book—creators, ignore this at your peril. This revolution has been twenty years in the making, and Bharat Anand makes the past (and the future) a lot more clea."  If you want to be ahead of the curve, instead of racing to catch up, this book might be the place to start.

4. Creative ConfidenceDavid and Tom Kelley

These guys are the founders of IDEO-- an organization that uses human-centered design to improve the lives of people around the world. They are also responsible for Stanford’s d.school, an interdisciplinary approach to design and engineering that brings together people from different practices to approach new problems in radically new ways. So, you should trust that their wisdom is worth hearing. This book offers innovative approaches to creativity and productivity in your life-- personally and professionally.  Joe Gebbia, founder of Airbnb, says that this book shows “us how to effortlessly dance between the creativity of of elementary school and the pragmatism of the business world.” Now doesn’t that sound like a skill you need?

5. Unsubscribe-- Jocelyn K. Glei

I have fielded no fewer than 7 emails while writing this blog post… That’s proof right there that the premise of this book is valid: email is killing our productivity and focus. The author breaks the pervasive problem into 3 main sections: the psychology of why email is so addictive and why it’s disrupting our lives, the strategy for overcoming this problem, and then the style of implementing the strategies she provides. If you’re ready to stop procrastinating by answering emails all day… then this could be your golden ticket.

6. Eat That Frog - Brian Tracy

Are you a procrastinator? You’ve probably got big important tasks on your to-do list that travel from list to list with you throughout the week. You start by answering emails, then you get pulled onto a client call, and then you put out a fire or two and then the day is over and the planning, writing, or other big important work just keeps getting pushed. Tracy’s book will help you bite the bullet (or as my mom says “eat the shit sandwich”). Tracy’s a little more elegant about it, he calls it “eating the frog.” Basically you learn to get the most unpleasant/important tasks out of the way first. Tracy proposes practical, implementable solutions to help you get your life in check.

 

Creative Community Director at Snapfluence. 

There is often a pen stuck in my hair.