Cool Books About Creativity!

In honour of Nanowrimo, I thought it would be fun to share a few books that feature creativity! Here are some inspiring and insightful reads for you:

Enchantment of Ravens– there were a lot of things I appreciated about this book, but one of my favourites was how it handled “craft”. It actually managed to make mortality special in a way that was completely unique. I appreciated this charming refrain more even than the actual magic!

My Name is Asher Lev– while I admit I disliked the main character for sacrificing everything- including his family- for his art, I do think it’s great that it explored this theme in such a deep way. Potok’s beautiful writing doesn’t hurt either.

Eliza and her Monsters– there’s lots to write home about with this contemporary- the friendships, the way it explores family and how it tackles mental health topics. But most of all, I love how it gives a modern twist on the topic of creativity. The protagonist is the creator of a popular webcomic- looking at all different sides of the topic, from internet culture to the pressure of success to the challenges of finding an ending. Even better, it does all of this in a creative way, bringing the story to life with fun illustrations.

Angel’s Game– while Shadow of the Wind is a book about reading, its sequel explores the topic of writing. In his haunting way, Zafon doesn’t try to glamorise the process, showing all its gritty frustrations and realities and struggles. You won’t just be enraptured by the setting, you will fall into the very atmosphere of the writer’s world.

Little Women– everyone and their mother knows (and loves) this classic. And one of the many, many reasons it’s so loved is for Jo- who is an inspiration to all young, budding writers. As much about her failures as her successes, Alcott shows us why we can’t be stuck in our ways as creatives and how we have to learn to adapt.  

I Capture the Castle– writing is a theme in this book in more ways than one. We see creativity in this book from multiple perspectives- the book is replete with creative types. Trying to achieve dreams is written into the very spine of the book, beginning with an artists exile and ending with the possibility of revival.

Daisy Jones and the Six– in this realistic story, you really get the vibe of the rock ’n roll movement. It’s a snapshot of a moment in time; it’s a real mood. I got so much out of the way this book describes creativity. And, with the fantastic narration in the audio version, I felt like I was listening in as an honorary band member – not just a groupie.

With the Fire on High– this is the kind of unusual take on creativity we don’t often get to taste. With its creative culinary skills, this book shows us how creativity can take you beyond your circumstances and how a dash of spice can brighten up your life. An absolutely delectable read.

Big Magic- as a bonus, I thought I’d mention a charming non fic that will give you a little push to be creative, if you need it.

So, have you read any of these? Were you inspired by them? Do you plan to? And what are your favourite books about creativity? Let me know in the comments!

Ways to be creative (when you’re not feeling it)

I think this is self-explanatory- this is obviously going to be a TOP QUALITY advice post on how you can find ways to be creative, even when the muse has fled:

tinker changes fix car

#1 Pick up a project you’ve already finished and see if you can find *some* way to tinker with it…

brainstorming ideas

#2 Brainstorm for new ideas (which really just means scribbling random things in a notebook- but no one’ll know if you look serious about it 😉)

lightbulb moment

#3 Go for a walk and invent stories (or even conversations with strangers) in your head. This is a highly productive exercise that you will no doubt mine from in future projects 😉

learn language

#4 “Learn” a language on Duolingo- pretending one day you will try to replicate Tolkien (you won’t)

mood reader 1

#5 “Research” some topic that may or may not be relevant for your next project- this can mean looking up obscure topics on reddit or even reading scientific journals or (when all else fails) ogling googling pictures of celebrities… for inspiration purposes of course 😉

gingerbread

#6 Make a batch of gingerbread cookies and give them funky outfits (I’d use my own examples but 1) I eat them pretty pronto after making them and 2) I’m not exactly talented when it comes to baking and so they usually come out looking come out looking somewhat deformed… which is another reason to eat them quickly/put them out of their misery 😉)

cat playing piano

#7 Pick up that instrument you never learned how to play and make a few out of tune sounds like you’re strangling a cat (you’ll know it’s time to stop when people come running to see where the banshee is)

bad singing

#8 Sing along (tunelessly) to BIG BALLADS!

elaine bad dancing

# And maybe incorporate some dance moves 😉

painting

#10 Doodle!!

read satisfied

#11 Write a post for your blog… just like this!

And there you go- any blocked feelings you’re have undoubtedly vanished and you’re back to your usual creative self! Possibly… 😉