Looking for some great books to read this summer that will also give you a creativity boost? Whether you’re an artist struggling with a creative block or a professional looking to infuse your workplace with a more creative culture, one of these books is sure to offer you the best of what you’re looking for. Summer reading that actually teaches you something doesn’t have to feel like a chore. You’ll laugh and you might cry, but either way, you’ll love what you learn.
Julia Cameron’s book has been a creative cult classic for over 25 years. If you’re looking to dig deep and push through your creative blocks, this is a tried and true program. Armed with exercises, a workbook and a morning journaling companion, you’ll feel more like your creative self by the end of summer. Do be aware, this book is a 12-week commitment a15nd journey, forcing you to do the work needed to get your creativity flowing. This is more than a read, it’s a book that causes transformation, so get ready.
Steven Pressfield chronicles his own personal story of creative doubt, living out of his car and the importance of persistence. If you’ve ever struggled with the creative person inside you, wrestled with the ghosts of discarded dreams and long to reconcile with who you are and what you were meant to be, you won’t be able to put this book down. In fact, you’ll want to read it again and again.
All companies are looking to be more innovative, and who better to learn from than Ed Catmull, Co-founder of Pixar. If you’re a manager looking to inspire a more creative culture in your workplace, this is the book for you. One of the biggest things you’ll learn is that your job is not to be sure your team avoids risks, but rather to provide an environment where it’s safe for them to take them in the first place. Get a first hand look at the techniques and values that led to the creation of what is arguably one of the most innovative companies imaginable.
Hugh MacLeod went from living at a YMCA as a young, struggling copywriter to becoming an authority on creativity. How? By staying true to himself and literally ignoring what others were doing. Don’t change who you are or what you create because of what you think people want. All the answers you need lie in your own authenticity and your ability to trust your feelings. These are just a few of the 40 keys to creativity MacLeod offers to his readers. While some readers found MacLeod somewhat off putting by apparently patting his own back, many found his advice very useful. It comes down to chemistry, some of you will love it and some will hate it.
Austin Kleon gave a speech to a group of college students based on the things he wished someone had told him when he was just beginning his career. The address went viral, forcing Kleon to take a more intimate look at the 10 things he thought young creatives needed to know. This is a practical guide to navigating personal creativity in the modern age that is easy to digest. Once you accept that nothing is original, you’re free from the pressure to break the mold which will allow you to just focus on doing things your way.