A Creative Life - Resource List
These resources are highly subjective and are ones I have explored or relied upon for my creative work during the last decade. Some are tried and true, some are relatively new to my repertoire. But I’d recommend any of them for a friend (i.e. I was not paid or given any free products to endorse any of these books or resources.)
IF YOU NEED:
Brainpickings - Maria Popova’s curation of “interestingness”—including book recommendations and weekly musings sent to you via email will keep you thinking and pondering all week long.
A flip through Summer Pierrre’s Great Gals Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life or Grace Bonney's In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs might be just the thing you need.
Keri Smith’s has a whole set of activity books for creatives that will get you writing, doodling, and exploring your world in new ways. (This Adventure Set and deluxe box set of her books are equally awesome. My all time favorite go-to resources of hers, however, is the (free PDF) Artist Survival kit, which I have printed and easily accessible on my desk for those rough days.
If you want to take a master class in creativity without tuition, check out Lynda Berry’s Syllabus - Notes from an Accidental Professor. Pair it with Corita Kent’s classic Learning by Heart - Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit.
For podcasters and any audiovisual storytellers, Jessica Abel’s Out on the Wire is a graphic novel introduction to great radio chock full of wisdom about storytelling in general.
The School of Life publishes books on the hard topics—handbooks for aging, sex, relationships, and being alone. With titles like, How to Think More About Sex, How to Find Fulfilling Work, How to Stay Sane, and Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person, you know these books are full of truths and wisdom. Find one for your current struggle.
And if you’re worried about being a late (creative) bloomer, take heart in this beautiful collection of essays: Lisa Congdon’s A Glorious Freedom - Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives.
SYPartner’s Unstuck archive can help you through your stuck moments—I’ve used it for years. (It used to be a cool app, which went away, but they saved the many amazing worksheets and tipsheets!) Their handy tip cards, such as Conjure Your Creativity, Stop Your Negative Thinking, Stop Your Procrastination, are also favorites.
Some of my favorite newsletters for getting your creative juices going or getting right app for the right problem are Creative Mornings (which also has in-person meet-ups all over!) and Dense Discovery.
This beautifully crafted wooden “clock” will help you commit to creative time each day: Make Time Clock.
I’ve been a long-time subscriber to Twyla Tharp’s school of thought on creativity—that anyone can be creative and the secret is doing it everyday. Check out her advice and guidebook (complete with exercises): The Creative Habit.
Those who prefer a more spiritual approach might like Julia Cameron’s classic, The Artist’s Way.
Evernote might possibly change your life. It’s great for keeping track of story ideas and inspiration. Sign up for a free one-month Premium subscription to test out all the features (and know that even the free subscription is pretty rad).
I use the “web clipper” extension on Firefox and Chrome daily for creating bookmarks, pulling articles and images of the web, and organizing it all in a digital Evernote book with searchable text and tags.
Have trouble sleeping? Dealing with difficult emotions? Just getting the thoughts in your head to stop?
I recommend the Buddify Meditation App, with beginner-friendly meditations sorted by what you’re doing at the moment (e.g. traveling, trying to sleep, etc.) No woo-woo required.
Want more recommendations? I’ll be happy to customize a resource “bibliography” for you for a reasonable, artist-friendly fee or barter. (I’m generous but I got bills, too!) Just shoot me an email.