Whenever I hit an obstacle, my first inclination is to read all about it. Rationally, I want to read and learn in order to do better. (The “do better” part is the most difficult by far.) So yes, I’ve heap upon heap of books.
Here, I list 5 books I love and keep returning to in my creative walkabout. These books inspire me, help me keep my humor and optimism intact, and provide expert advice.
1: The Joy Diet – Martha Beck
Martha Beck is a genius! Whether you are in an emotional slump or just looking for a pep talk, Martha is for you. My volume of the Joy Diet is dog-eared, flagged, underlined, and scribbled in. In 10 menu items she describes the steps to a happier life. During my creative walkabout, the Joy Diet has once again become a fixture on my bedside table. I’ll leave you with a bit of Martha-wisdom:
“Every time you voice your thoughts to a loved one, or cook a meal, or choose a new bar of soap for the dish by your bathtub, you are creating a modification in space or time that would never have existed without you.” (p.69)
2: The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
The Artist’s Way is tried and tested by millions of creative spirits around the world. It was first published in 1992 and is a creativity classic. The most important exercise is writing Morning Pages, every day. Morning Pages are three pages longhand to be written every morning, before you do anything else. The Artist’s Way is a 12 week course, which I’ve completed in around 9 months. I’ve loved, liked, appreciated, hated, loathed, despised the Morning Pages, but I also see a wonderful progress towards greater creativity.
3. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
You know Elizabeth Gilbert with the bestselling “Eat Pray Love”; In Big Magic, she explores creative living beyond fear with an amazing perspective that is all her own. Contrary to the two first books on this list, Big Magic doesn’t include exercises, but fret not, it holds great, down-to-earth motivation to spice up your creative mojo.
4: Finding your own North Star – Martha Beck
Yes, this is the second book by Martha Beck on this list, but the two books are very different. Finding your own North Star is navigating the storm and finding the life you were meant to live. I appreciate that Finding you own North Star isn’t described as an easy 3-step plan, but a path that requires hard work – because that is the truth. The books includes plenty of exercises including a life profile that is solid gold.
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying – Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, known as the KonMari Method, takes a practical approach to creative living by helping you declutter and tidy your material baggage. It is a little addictive to tidy and organize with the sole question of “does it spark joy?”. It works! While my closet and the walk-in closet under the stairs were decluttered, my thoughts were as well.
Do you agree in my list or are there essential books missing? I would love to hear from you.