Books About Creativity

Usually I’m a fiction reader. There are a few non-fiction books I’ve pulled off the shelves to read, on purpose, but they are usually for inspiration for a project.

A promotional email from Audible gave me three book credits and I dove in to get “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer, which I also bought in print, and “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I need to buy in print. My dive in for these books was Monday night. Monday, January first. As of today, Friday January fifth, I’ve finished them both.

I can’t say enough good things about these books. They were both read by the authors, which lends to the tone and pacing of the words gloriously.

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Amanda Palmer did a Ted Talk, also called “The Art of Asking” in which she discusses the same topics. It’s a good highlight reel for the book.

My take away quotes:

“Whether you’re a *professional* artist or not, you’re an artistic force in the world.”

“Whatever you’ve been given is supposed to be given away. Not kept.”

“When artists work well they connect people to themselves and the stitch people to each other through this shared experience of discovering a connection that wasn’t visible before.”

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Elizabeth Gilbert has also done Ted Talks in which she discusses her feelings on creativity and creative genius. She’s also discussed “Big Magic” in an interview with one of my favorite business advice ladies, Marie Forleo.

My take away quotes:

“I always try to use my most gracious manners when sending an idea away. You don’t want word getting around the universe that you’re difficult to work with.”

“If you’re working on your craft every day with steady discipline and love then you’re already for real as a creator. You don’t need anybody to affirm it for you.”

“…if people absolutely hate what you’ve created… smile sweetly and suggest as politely as you possibly can that they go make their own fucking art. Then, stubbornly, continue making yours.”

“Creativity is sacred and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all of these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul and I promise you can make anything. So please, calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside of you are hoping you will say yes.”

What are your books for creativity?

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