I often find that people think creativity is this thing you either have or your don’t. Have you ever thought to yourself or said aloud, “I can’t do that because I’m not creative”? I don’t believe creativity is a thing you either are or aren’t. I believe everyone can create things, but not everyone may be the most talented at creating the same types of things.
You may excel in your talent for gardening while your neighbor is an incredible computer programmer. And maybe your cousin has such an eye for fashion design, while that person you went to high school with is an artist through short story writing. Your friend may be creative in story telling and jokes which makes them a hilarious comedian, while your uncle may be a wonderful wood worker.
Your creativity doesn’t have to look like someone else’s. It just needs to look like you. If you’re trying to tap into your own creativity, below are 7 books that can help spark that creator in you.
Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative – This is not your regular book. It’s a small square and each page of information is it’s own work of art. The way Austin Kleon writes is both informational and enjoyable. When I read this, I felt affirmed in some of the tough parts of the creative process. It’s an easy read and one I know I’ll go back to in the future.
What Do You Do With An Idea – This is always my #1 recommendation for a kid’s book. Even though it’s short and intended for little eyes and ears, it is so powerful as an adult as well. The last line of the book is my favorite but I won’t spoil it for you. If you need something short and easy to inspire you, this may just do the trick.
The Artist’s Way – This is my top recommendation from the list and the one I got so much out of. This is the book where the morning pages came from as well as the artist date. The way the book is set up is that you read a bit each week over a 12 week period. There’s then certain assignments you have to do like the morning pages and artist date each week and then a bank of options for other things to do to connect to your artist. While the cover really didn’t do anything for me, the contents of the book are phenomenal.
Show Your Work: 10 Ways To Share Your Creativity & Get Discovered – Another book by Austin Kleon and another one I got a lot of out of. It’s written in the same style as the first, but this one focused more on how to share your work.
Called To Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk – One of my favorite things about this author, Jordan Raynor, is his focus throughout his various books on how our work is our service to God. In this particular book, Raynor explores how we can reframe the way we think about work, how to serve others with that work, and how our work matters in eternity. It’s recommend reading this one before reading the next one on the list – Master of One. And I know that because I didn’t read them in that order and should have. I’m only partially through this one but I already know it’s worth it.
Master of One: Find and Focus on the Work You Were Created to Do – Also by Jordan Raynor, this book explores how to find the thing you’re called to create, and that once you have it, you you actually focus on using unique gifting. If you’re finding it hard to uncover your why or purpose, this can be a very helpful book for that journey.
The Creator in You – This one is a kid’s book by Jordan Raynor. It’s about the creation story in the bible and that God’s creation didn’t stop on the 6th day, it had just begun. By making people, God provided a continued opportunity for creation to exist, with those people creating things. This is an inspiring book for both little and big ones alike.
The above list isn’t an exhaustive list. Those are just the books I’ve read so far. The books listed below are all literally on my bookshelf (shout out to Thriftbooks where I purchased all of these) and will likely be reading in 2024.
- Keep Going by Austin Kleon
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
- The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin