As a creative entrepreneur, there are some days when you just need an extra boost of motivation or a healthy dose of inspiration to keep you on track. Whenever I feel like I need some guidance, I turn to blog posts, fellow creatives, and yep, you guessed it, books.
Taking your passion to the next level and navigating the world of entrepreneurship can be a not-so-simple path to figure out. But that’s where a good book comes in handy. These authors understand that the life of a creative is not always as simple or as freeing as we’d like it to be. It takes a lot of hard work, discipline, patience, and understanding that creative ideas come in waves. The life of a creative entrepreneur certainly has its ups and downs, doesn’t it?
I’ve found these reads especially helpful and think they’re sure to give you the creative boost you need to help your work or creative business thrive.
I’ll be honest — I actually never finished reading Eat, Pray, Love (I’ve seen the movie though, does that count?), but Elizabeth Gilbert is still a favorite author of mine because of her anecdotal, inspiring book, Big Magic. In this book, she is open and honest about her creative journey that includes pursuing writing as a career, inspiration coming and going, facing rejection, and ultimately publishing best-selling books. But no matter what kinds of challenges she faced, she accepted that while the creative process may have its ups and downs, it’s no less magical at the end of the day.
Her transparency, sound advice, and thoughtful insights into the creative mind are what made this book such a hit. “Creative living is stranger than other, more worldly pursuits. The usual rules do not apply.”
In this short and easy read, Austin Kleon describes 10 principles of being creative and how they each can help you improve your creative, artistic life. A couple of my favorite are, ‘Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started’ and ‘Be nice. (The world is a small town.).’ This is one of those books you’ll want to keep at your workspace and reference every now and then to refresh yourself with the simple but true sentiments on creativity and artistic work. Plus, it has fun graphics to keep you visually entertained. A win-win! Bonus: Austin Kleon’s second book, Show Your Work should be next on your list if you’re looking for guidance on taking your creativity to the next level and getting your work discovered.
Any creative person knows that the most creative moments or ideas can’t be forced. Many of us don’t have our creative juices flowing on a regular schedule, but this book is here to tell you that maybe a schedule is exactly what your creativity needs. In The Creative Habit, author and renowned dancer, Twyla Tharp explains why simply doing the work and preparing yourself for creative moments to come to you can boost your creativity more than you’d think. Discipline is a major characteristic of a dancer, and any creative entrepreneur can channel that discipline into their own work. The key to ultimately seeing results is to stay consistent and work hard.
Entrepreneur or not, anyone can take away something from each of the inspirational women featured in this book. Flipping through, you’ll find stories from artists, entrepreneurs, and makers — each one providing beautiful insights and advice on both business and life that will leave you with newfound motivation to pursue a creative project or business. This coffee table book is a constant source of inspiration (and one of the many things that influenced the creation of Movers + Makers!).
Being a creative has a lot of ups and downs. One day you’re coming off of a creative high after making something magical, and the next you’re wide awake in bed in the middle of the night doubting everything you’ve ever done (this is usually the result of getting sucked into the Instagram black hole and spending hours comparing your life and business to the perfect squares of others). While this book won’t necessarily stop you from getting sucked into the comparison game that is Instagram, it will help you feel a whole lot better about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Jen Sincero is the motivational friend you need when you find yourself in a rut or need a confidence boost to keep you going strong. Bonus: Her second book, You Are a Badass at Making Money should be next on your reading list if you need some extra confidence to take on your money goals head-on.