Creativity is a spiritual practice. It is for everyone, not just reserved for only the professional artists, musicians, writers, and the like. Unfortunately, we have brainwashed ourselves into thinking that we are not worthy of making our own art and that we should leave it to the professionals. But that’s not true, we are all creative spirits with art inside of us that need to be expressed in some form or other.
There is so much fear when it comes to bringing forth what is inside of us that we end up keeping all our ideas locked up forever. We are not doing ourselves or the world around us any favors when we refuse to make art just because we are afraid. It doesn’t have to be good art, it just has to be created, so I’m sharing 5 of my favorite books on creativity to inspire you to let go of your fears and unleash that creative beast inside of you.
5 Books to Unleash Your Creativity
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
If you’ve always wanted to write that book, or bring an idea to life, but you’ve been too afraid that the reality is never going to live up to your dreams, this is the book for you. There are so many words of wisdom in this book, but the best takeaway for me is how Gilbert tells us not to take our art too seriously; it’s okay to experiment and play and make mistakes, and in fact, it’s important to do all those things. It’s a necessary process for getting better at creating stuff. This book will give you courage to make art.
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
The Art of Asking is part memoir, part vision of the perfect creative utopia, and Amanda Palmer is heartbreakingly honest and candid about her experiences and life as an artist and a musician. This book will inspire you to let go of fear and allow yourself to trust your creative self, and also trust in the entire universe for conspiring to make sure that your art gets made. It is an amazing and emotional book, and it will motivate you to get your passion on!
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
This book takes the form of a 12-week workshop on creativity, and one of the most important things Julia Cameron teaches is the practice of the Morning Pages; free-writing by hand three pages of anything that comes to mind, every morning before you do anything else. She calls this brain dumping, and it is surprisingly effective for clearing out the mind clutter. It may seem targeted towards writers, but it is game-changing for even those who don’t consider themselves creative people. It will make you realize that creativity is in fact, a spiritual practice and that everyone needs some form of creative outlet.
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Full disclosure; out of all the books listed here, this is the one I read first, meaning a long time ago. Hence, there are only a few things I remember about it: First, I loved it! Second, it was so difficult for me to finish reading this book at all, because every paragraph I read made me want to get up and start making art *now*! And third, I have to read this book again. This book is considered a classic for a reason!
Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
Only 80 pages long, it’s not so much a book as it is an art piece made out of Neil Gaiman’s speech. It is an inspiring speech, however, and while I was reading it, I kept thinking how I would love to decorate my walls with the pages of this book. Incidentally, Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are a favorite celebrity couple among the creative community, and it is not a coincidence that their works made the list for my favorite books on creativity. They both live and breathe creativity and have inspired so many. You will not go wrong looking to them for inspiration!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but they are all amazing, and I hope they get you started on your creative journey!