If you want to live a creative life, you’re going to need some help. Books are my first place to start. Here are some books I’m reading now that are a great help for your creativity.
Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor. Simon and Schuster, 2013. Love this book that helps you discover who you are through writing. A good story by a woman who knew she was a writer, but just couldn’t write. Till she took some risks. Each chapter has writing suggestions at the end.
Become a Life Change Artist by Fred Mandell, Ph.D. and Kathleen Jordan, Ph.D. Penguin Group, 2010. These two Ph.D.s teach you seven creative skills to reinvent yourself at any stage in life. And they do it by breaking down how creative people do their work and then applying it to your life. The seven skills are:
- Using Context
- Embracing Uncertainty
- Risk Taking
Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way, by Jennifer Lee, New World Library, 2014. OK, I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my desk. I love the idea that right-brain strengths can be applied to a traditionally left-brain activity–building a business. Again, business is considered an art (good idea if you are an entrepreneur), and you need some of the same skills to be successful as left-brained people. You’ll learn about taking a stand and making an impact and attracting clients–the right ones.
The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee, New World Library, 2011. This was Lee’s first book, and it shares a lot of design elements with the second book: tips, success stories, worksheets, and a friendly, approachable format.
I bought all these books in the paper-book format. I do love ebooks, but when I’m reading for research (and all of these books are for becoming a better coach), I like to take notes on paper. In this case, I’ve put those convenient #8 shipping tags in the books as bookmarks. I take notes on the tags, keep them together with colorful binder rings, and can flip through them to find the notes I need. And yes, I do color-code them.
Now, here’s a question for you: If you were to take a week-long creativity course, one that focuses on writing, but not on one style or genre of writing, what would you want included? List as many items as you want. Some ideas to get you started:
- Comments can include topics you want covered (memoir, poetry, fiction, non-fiction)
- How you want to spend the day (traditional teaching lessons, writing and reading your work, critique,)
- How important it is to write in class and get personal feedback
- How much you want to read your own work or hear the work of others
- Special topics you want covered (why write a book? Collaborative writing)
And yeah, I’m creating a class. Might as well get feedback from the smartest people I know. My idea right now is that the class will have an online component and an in-person component. You can form community and start working on a project online, then meet for the in-person class. You can also experience each part separately. Don’t ask me how I will do this yet. I’m just thinking.
—Quinn McDonald is creating a new kind of class.