Inspirational Writing Books
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to write the great American novel or take up another artistic endeavor? Are you now finding yourself a month after New Years, with your goals and hopes dashed? You need a creativity pep talk. The following is a list of books designed to get you back on track, restore your enthusiasm and remind you of why you started that creative project in the first place.
- Make Good Art: The Speech by Neil Gaiman – This book is hands down my number one suggestion to revitalize yourself towards your project. If you only have 5 minutes during your lunch hour, grab this book. It was originally a graduation speech made by celebrated fiction and comic author Neil Gaiman at the University of Arts in Philadelphia about his career in the arts. Gaiman’s words combined with Chip Kidd’s brilliant book design and typesetting create an invigorating pep talk that will leave you feeling refreshed to return to your novel, painting or other creative goal.
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon – Stuck on a particular project? Austin will remind you the importance of consuming the type of art that you’re trying to make. Trying to write a novel and stuck? Read novels by authors you enjoy to jump start your creativity and mind. The same goes for other types of art. Austin’s direct and useful tips will help you look at the process of creativity in a different way.
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield – According to Steven Pressfield, resistance is the worst force in existence. His theory is that staring down a blank page takes more courage than anything else in life. Organized in quick sections, this book will help to overcome procrastination by defining it and examining different aspects of it. The strengths of this book are that they simplify the obstacles preventing you from accomplishing your goal into one category and thus break down barriers so you can get started on your project.
- For Everyone by Jason Reynolds – The really remarkable thing about this book is that Jason Reynolds started writing it before he became a New York Times bestselling author. This poem was first read at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, but it speaks to a wide audience. For anyone who has ever had a dream, particularly a creative dream that has been denied, this book is a sucker punch of motivation and hope.
- The Promise of Failure: One Writer’s Perspective on Not Succeeding by John Mcnally – Can failure be useful? John Mcnally thinks so. As a published novelist and short story writer, Mcnally is very familiar with being rejected. According to him, failure should be viewed as an opportunity for growth, instead of as a cultural taboo. Throughout this book, Mcnally turns the concept of failure inside out to examine how we can benefit and grow from failures, to make them feel like just another important step in the process to completing your project.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: Elizabeth Gilbert takes a philosophical look at creativity and how we get inspired. Her upbeat approach to looking at the courage it takes to tackle writing a novel endeavors to empower the reader to tackle their own insecurities and frustrations when it comes to creative endeavors. This book is a refreshing new perspective on how to create and might just change the way you look at the creative process.
- The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron -- This book is organized into exercises to be completed in a series of weeks. If you’re looking to take a break from your project and remember why you started it in the first place-- this could be a good book for you. It will reshape your creative habits before you delve back into your project. Ideas like “daily pages,” and “artist’s date,” could be the key to getting back into your project.
- Several short sentences about writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg -- Can the length of your sentences make a difference in completing your project? Verlyn Klinkenborg thinks so. He argues that a sentence is the only way of communicating with readers. Thus, giving it more attention is the key to conveying your idea clearer. This book may not be useful unless you already have some words on the page, but could be the key looking at your project in a new way. In a refreshing fashion, this book itself is written in short, easy-to-digest sentences. If you’re looking for a way to reframe your perspective of writing, this book is an excellent place to start.
- Writing Down The Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg -- If the thought of sitting down to a blank page and putting down words has you breaking out into a cold sweat, then this is book will help. It will completely reframe the way you look at the process of writing. With a variety of easy to implement suggestions, Goldberg looks at the minute aspects of the act of writing. She discusses the texture of paper, the type of pen you use and what type of notebook you write in. Changing some of these small things, may just give you the push you need to delve back into your project.