10 Must Read Books for Creatives

Every creative person has their favorite books they go go when they are stuck in a rut or need a little inspiration. Books become like trusty friends that you can turn to when you need a fresh perspective or need to be reminded of something you have forgotten. The list below is compiled of books or authors that I have come back to time and time again. They are some of my favorites. A few have worn covers and tattered pages while others have been replaced because I felt compelled to hand them off to someone who needed them. A few I keep on my Nook tablet with favorite passages tagged so I can go back over them again. This list is a great beginning creative souls list. Happy Reading!

  1. Creativity for Life by Eric Maisel: Eric Maisel is a creativity coach in southern California. He works with artists to help unblock creative walls. In Creativity for Life,  he provides examples of how he coached some of his clients and then asks the reader to participate in finding their creative goals with exercises and questions at the end of each section.
  2. The Artist Way by Julia Cameron: This is a must go-to for a beginning artist. The Artist Way is the first in a series of books meant to connect the artist with their spiritual nature to be in their art more authentically. I have read and re-read this book many times when I needed an artist pick me up. She incorporates many exercises to help the creative soul along.
  3. Billy Collins (any of his poetry books): My favorite is Sailing Around the Room and Other Poems. However, he has many and they are all great. His poetry is real and honest; he pulls from ordinary world around him to create his excellent writing. He is two-termed Poet Laureate of the U.S.
  4. Creating a Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd: Carol Lloyd takes the creative person on down a path to discovering what they want from their passions. Each chapters asks the reader questions about their craft, the life they want, and other important details  so they may create their own lifestyle beyond society’s norm.
  5. A Creative Companion by SARK (or any SARK book): Another must read for the creative being. A quick read, SARK inspires with her bright colors and handwritten pages. This a fun and lively reminder for the artist to slow-down, open their eyes, and see the world around them with their creative soul.
  6. poemcrazy by Susan Woolridge: A great book to read on poetry. This takes all the mystique out of poetry and breaks it down into the idea that anyone is capable of writing poetry. It is manner of learning the skills. Susan Woolridge does just that in this delightful, easy to read book.
  7. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg: A “bible” of writing culture. Natalie Goldberg talks about getting to the bones in writing. A zen teacher, artist and writer, she incorporates her teachings through examples in her book. A lot of insightful information for the creative person.
  8. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guilbreau: Here is the non-conformists BOOK! If you do not want the standard 9-5 every day lifestyle then this is the book for you. Chris tells you his story and how he went from dropping out of college to the entrepreneur that he is today. He has also been to every country in the world and incorporates some of his genius traveling hacks in this book and on his website.
  9. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp: Twyla Tharp got to where she is by one thing: she made her creative outlet a daily habit. She practices her creativity every day. It is woven through out her book that even when one feels as though they cannot create, they should continue the habit of creating to stay conscious of their art. She is a no-nonsense writer with many excellent ideas.
  10. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
    A must have writers book. Anne Lamott dives into the creative side of writing but this book is also a great guideline for other creative beings. The philosophy of “bird by bird” is a concept that can be applied to any creative project that may seem overwhelming.


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