25 books directly related to the creative process 📚

All 25 creative process books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of My Life in Middlemarch: A Memoir

Why this book?

What do the writers you are drawn to reveal about you? Why at certain points in our lives do we become “attached” to certain authors? The process of attachment is mysterious. As we age (and change) some things remain constant. Our attachment to a particular author may have begun in our youth, but evolved as we have. To reconnect with a favorite author can put us in touch with our younger self in unexpected ways. Mead shows how much Middlemarch has “spoken” to her throughout her life. This book is perhaps more in harmony with my own than any on the list. I have come to love books that underscore how what we read can be inseparable from the person we become.

My Life in Middlemarch: A Memoir

By Rebecca Mead,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Life in Middlemarch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth--Middlemarch--and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories.

Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described…

Book cover of Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life

Why this book?

This is a classic and has been foundational to my thinking and work. Fritz explains that we all live on the path of least resistance. Our lives change when we learn to ask one question; “What result do I want to create?” We all think we ask this question, but we do not. We ask; “How do I get what I want?” The difference is critical in the impact it can have on our lives. This book is filled with practical insight and wisdom.

Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life

By Robert Fritz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Path of Least Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revolutionary program for creating anything, from a functional kitchen to a computer program, to a work of art, Robert Fritz demonstrates that any of us has the innate power to create. Discover the steps of creating; the importance of creating what you truly love, how to focus on the creative process to move from where you are to where you want to be, and much more.

Book cover of Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Why this book?

A guide to making art for those of use who are not geniuses. Don’t worry about making a masterpiece, just make your pieces of art. If you have a hard time letting yourself make bad art, so that you can one day make great art, this is the one to start with.

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

By Ted Orland, David Bayles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art & Fear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Art & Fear is about the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. Drawing on the authors' own experiences as two working artists, the book delves into the internal and external challenges to making art in the real world, and shows how they can be overcome every day.

First published in 1994, Art & Fear quickly became an underground classic, and word-of-mouth has placed it among the best-selling books on artmaking and creativity. Written by artists for artists, it…

On Creativity

By David Bohm,

Book cover of On Creativity

Why this book?

David Bohm is celebrated for creating a completely different theory of quantum mechanics, equally adept and accounting for experiments but conceptually irreconcilable from those of Schrödinger and Heisenberg. Put that together with his broad and deep understanding of culture, and you have a uniquely sensitive and original take on creativity. I particularly like his sharp critique of superficial ‘creativity’ which he claims is mostly reflex. Bohm helps his readers to see that ‘discovery’ and ‘creation’ cannot easily be disentangled.

On Creativity

By David Bohm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Creativity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Creativity is fundamental to human experience. In On Creativity David Bohm, the world-renowned scientist, investigates the phenomenon from all sides: not only the creativity of invention and of imagination but also that of perception and of discovery. This is a remarkable and life-affirming book by one of the most far-sighted thinkers of modern times.


Book cover of Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

Why this book?

Lynch describes how meditation and the creative process can go hand in hand and offers an interesting insight into his art. 

Lynch's contribution to creativity lies not only in his own artistic output but also notably in the establishment of the David Lynch Foundation that can arguably be said to equal the towering importance of his films and paintings. 

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

By David Lynch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catching the Big Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Musical verse accompanies a milkman and his cranky kitty as they make their morning rounds. The milkman knows his hometown; he knows who needs ice cream for a birthday party, who just broke a leg, and who has a new baby. He even helps return a lost dog that's hiding along his route. This pitch-perfect, retro read-aloud's gentle sensibility is ideally matched with beautiful art that powerfully evokes an era of classic illustration.

Book cover of Essential Art Therapy Exercises: Effective Techniques to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Why this book?

I really like how Essential Art Therapy Exercises focuses on creativity through art, photography, and writing, helping people work through their traumas, anxieties, or concerns. The creative projects in this book are so entertaining that it’s easy to forget there is more to therapy than just sharing the artwork. I enjoyed doing some of the paintings and drawings, and also trying one of the collage projects.

Essential Art Therapy Exercises: Effective Techniques to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

By Leah Guzman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Essential Art Therapy Exercises as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Creating art is a wonderful way to reconnect with yourself while cultivating new skills for navigating life. Author Leah Guzman, a board-certified art therapist and mixed media artist, has put together simple yet powerful art therapy exercises drawn from cognitive behavioral therapy methods. You’ll express your thoughts and emotions by creating art pieces using a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, and sculpting.You don’t need to be an artist to create art, and no experience is necessary. If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or PTSD, Essential Art Therapy Exercises will inspire you to practice mindfulness and self-compassion using:Healing art therapy exercises—Making…

Book cover of Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

Why this book?

Sometimes we just want to know how it feels to be someone else living the writer’s life. In this collection, forty-six writers ranging from Roxane Gay and Billy Collins to Edwidge Danticat and Amy Tan answer one single question: What inspires you? My favorite response comes from Marilynne Robinson, who writes “I’m drawn to that movement toward essentials, away from all secondary definitions, all extraneous props, and ornaments.” What about you? What inspires you? Why are you writing in the first place? You’ll ponder that question while you read these short pieces by writers who shine a light in dark places.

Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

By Joe Fassler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Light the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A stunning masterclass on the creative process, the craft of writing, and the art of finding inspiration from Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Roxane Gay, Neil Gaiman, and more of the most acclaimed writers at work today

"For artists in need of a creative fix, Light the Dark is as good as a visit from the divine muse." -Bookpage

What inspires you? That's the simple, but profound question posed to forty-six renowned authors in LIGHT THE DARK. Each writer begins with a favorite passage from a novel, a song, a poem—something that gets them started and keeps…

Book cover of Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Why this book?

I bought this book, thinking it would be about Andrew Peterson’s creative process as he writes songs. Well, yeah, it’s about that. It’s also about his struggle with depression. He talks candidly about how he hid from others, wept, and thought he was worthless. And as I read his descriptions of his depression… I knew I was not alone. This is an intimate look at a singer and the darkness he battles. Thankfully, it’s not only brutal about depression, but also points to the light we have in Jesus. 

Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Adorning the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Wingfeather Saga and award-winning musician and storyteller, Andrew Peterson. 
Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine each named Adorning the Dark as one of their books of the year. 

Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can’t be done alone.
 
Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a film—all in a belief that God calls us to proclaim the…

Book cover of Upstream: Selected Essays

Why this book?

Mary Oliver, as a poet and an essayist, writes with a lyric sword. Upstream is a collection of essays that reflect her willingness to lose herself in the mysteries and intricacies of the natural world. In this work, Oliver contemplates the joy of her work, her passionate eye for observation, her ability and responsibility to write and think about the flora and fauna, the flowers, the grass, the water, the sky, and how they connect us to the natural world, to each other, and to ourselves.

The sheer power of her writing and command of language has always drawn me in, what pushes me as a person, a farmer, and a writer to give into the “stream” of our consciousness, to stop and observe, but to also keep moving forward with the power of words and my experience of the world around me.

Upstream: Selected Essays

By Mary Oliver,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Upstream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of O, The Oprah Magazine's Ten Best Books of the Year

The New York Times bestselling collection of essays from beloved poet, Mary Oliver.

"There's hardly a page in my copy of Upstream that isn't folded down or underlined and scribbled on, so charged is Oliver's language . . ." -Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"Uniting essays from Oliver's previous books and elsewhere, this gem of a collection offers a compelling synthesis of the poet's thoughts on the natural, spiritual and artistic worlds . . ." -The New York Times

"In the beginning I was so young and such…

Book cover of How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy)

Why this book?

This wise and wonderful little book humorously holds up a mirror to the self-sabotaging techniques that can snap a fledgling idea right off the vine. (Procrastination, anyone?) Each page features “advice,” along with hilarious illustrations, on how not to be creative, and has me ROTFLMAO with recognition. Here are some faves: “Smoke a lot of dope for inspiration. Forget why it’s called dope. Forget your inspirations.” “Compare your work to the masterworks of the great masters.” “The minute you have an idea, ask yourself: How much cold, hard cash is it worth?” “Take seriously every negative thing anyone says.” (To wit, “That ain’t art, sister.”) With a wink and the perfect amount of reverse psychology, this whimsical book skillfully catapults me out of a creative funk!  

How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy)

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In How to Avoid Making Art, the bestselling author of The Artist's Way delivers a (tongue-in-cheek!) guide to doing anything and everything you possibly can to avoid making art. Anyone who is engaged in a creative pursuit will no doubt identify with these wonderful cartoons by award-winning artist Elizabeth Cameron of creative wannabes doing everything except actually getting down to work.  

"For most people creativity is a serious business," says Julia Cameron. "They forget the telling phrase 'the play of ideas' and think that they need to knuckle down and work more. Often, the reverse is true. They need to…


Book cover of Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators

Why this book?

This is one of those secret gems of a book that hardly anybody has heard of but after you read it, you’ll be giving multiple copies away to every creative you know. Rich with real-life examples from working artists and writers, and Priscilla’s long history as a working creative and teacher, I have underlined an idea or suggestion on almost every page.

Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators

By Priscilla Long,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Minding the Muse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Minding the Muse is a practical handbook for the artist or writer—highly experienced, aspiring, or somewhere in between. Long draws from her extensive background as a poet, writer, and master teacher, but also gathers the insights and practices of a wide range of high-achieving artists, including mystery writer Raymond Chandler, choreographer Twyla Tharp, poet and performance artist Patti Smith, and the painter Joan Miró. Beginning with the first sparks of artistic creation—“Gathering, Hoarding, Conceptualizing”—Long moves through the various stages to “Completing Works” and “Poet as Peddler, Painter as Pusher: Marketing.” Every creative worker will find something here to take to…

Book cover of Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings

Why this book?

Read this book if you want to get inside the heads of the two fathers of Fantasy, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. This book brilliantly ventures into what created the ‘Inklings’, and how they inspired each other to write fantastic stories of hobbits, dragons and magical worlds. This book particularly gripped me, because these two authors are my hero’s and have inspired my imagination above all others. This book even showed me how I could personally become an inkling, and join forces with other creative, and inspired writers to create a new world all our own. 

Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings

By Diana Glyer, James A. Owen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bandersnatch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An inside look at the Inklings and their creative process

C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other's works-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent? And what can we learn from their example?

Complemented with original illustrations by James Owen, Bandersnatch offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxford-and a seat at their table at the Eagle and Child pub. It shows how encouragement and criticism made all the difference…


Book cover of Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World

Why this book?

Gaiman is always wonderfully positive on the subjects of experimentation, failure, and persistence, and with advice such as “The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” This inspiring book is made even better by the accompanying four-color artwork from his longtime illustrator, Chris Riddell.

Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World

By Chris Riddell, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art Matters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seize the day in the name of art. This creative call to arms from the mind of Neil Gaiman combines his extraordinary words with deft and striking illustrations by Chris Riddell.

'Like a bedtime story for the rest of your life, this is a book to live by. At its core, it's about freeing ideas, shedding fear of failure, and learning that "things can be different" ' INSTITUTE OF IMAGINATION

Be bold. Be rebellious. Choose art. It matters.

Neil Gaiman once said that 'the world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before'. This little book…


Book cover of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Why this book?

For me, as an artist, there is no greater feeling than bringing a vision into reality and welcoming the formless into form. Having to wrestle with the angels of creativity and the demons of resistance is exhausting, soul-enlivening work. Steven Pressfield brilliantly describes and guides readers through this process in his seminal work The War of Art. Steven invites us to square our shoulders towards all that we’ve been resisting, as a means of facing the life we know we’re capable of and called to live. The book is divided into three parts, or books within the book: Book One is called, simply “Resistance: Defining The Enemy.” Book Two is titled “Combating Resistance: Turning Pro” and outlines the differences between an amateur and a professional, and Book Three is my personal favorite: “Beyond Resistance: The Higher Realm” where he waxes poetic about our connection to the Muses and the mystical—which can be cultivated by practicing going beyond what our reluctant-egoic selves don’t want to do, but so desperately long for.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The War of Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide forsucceeding in any creative sphere, The War ofArt is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid theroadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dreambusiness venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy thatevery one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer thisinternal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve…


Book cover of Feck Perfuction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life

Why this book?

Artist, designer, writer James Victore urges us to be ourselves without hesitation. Artists don’t fit in, we can’t. We’re observers and makers and require a certain distance from the mainstream to refine our vision and do our work. But we can be afraid to express ourselves fully and stand out from the crowd. This book dishes out confidence like candy. It’s a great place to replenish flagging spirits when they descend as they will from time to time. It’s energizing and makes you want to open your eyes and do what you can to further the unfolding of your truth and spirit. Written in short pithy chapters, you can dip in and out of it whenever you need a boost.

Feck Perfuction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life

By James Victore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feck Perfuction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"James Victore is a dangerous man. His ideas on optimizing your creativity, doing wow work and building a life that inspires will devastate your limits. And show you how to win. Read this book fast."
-Robin Sharma, #1 bestselling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Begin before you're ready.

Renowned designer and professional hell-raiser James Victore wants to drag you off your couch and throw you headfirst into a life of bold creativity. He'll guide you through all the twists, trials, and triumphs of starting your creative career, from finding your voice to picking the right moment to…

16 Words: William Carlos Williams and the Red Wheelbarrow

By Lisa Rogers, Chuck Groenink (illustrator),

Book cover of 16 Words: William Carlos Williams and the Red Wheelbarrow

Why this book?

Every poem has a story about how it came to be, and readers will enjoy the story of “The Red Wheelbarrow,” one of William Carlos Williams’ most beloved poems. The text is engaging and fun, and the colorful illustrations highlight the story well. This a must-read for children and adults alike!

16 Words: William Carlos Williams and the Red Wheelbarrow

By Lisa Rogers, Chuck Groenink (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 16 Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This simple nonfiction picture book about the beloved American poet William Carlos Williams is also about how being mindful can result in the creation of a great poem like "The Red Wheelbarrow"--which is only sixteen words long.

"Look out the window. What do you see? If you are Dr. William Carlos Williams, you see a wheelbarrow. A drizzle of rain. Chickens scratching in the damp earth." The wheelbarrow belongs to Thaddeus Marshall, a street vendor, who every day goes to work selling vegetables on the streets of Rutherford, New Jersey. That simple action inspires poet and doctor Williams to pick…

Book cover of The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

Why this book?

Modern dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp encourages the discipline of creativity. She illustrates both the play and the hard work that went into creating her dance works—and shows how her life’s lessons can be applied to any of us, if we really want to be productive creatives.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

By Twyla Tharp,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Creative Habit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes someone creative? How does someone face the empty page, the empty stage and making something where nothing existed before? Not just a dilemma for the artist, it is something everyone faces everyday. What will I cook that isn't boring? How can I make that memo persuasive? What sales pitch will increase the order, get me the job, lock in that bonus? These too, are creative acts, and they all share a common need: proper preparation. For Twyla Tharp, creativity is no mystery; it's the product of hard work and preparation, of knowing one's aims and one's subject, of…

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way

Why this book?

I encountered The Artist's Way by learning to be a professional storyteller in writing and oral presentations. Ms. Cameron combines creativity and spirituality in a logical step-by-step understanding that helped me meet the daily challenges of making a living while charting an unusual and unproven profession. She imbued in me that creative expression in all its forms is the natural direction in life. 

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"With its gentle affirmations, inspirational quotes, fill-in-the-blank lists and tasks — write yourself a thank-you letter, describe yourself at 80, for example — The Artist’s Way proposes an egalitarian view of creativity: Everyone’s got it."—The New York Times 
 
"Morning Pages have become a household name, a shorthand for unlocking your creative potential"—Vogue

Over four million copies sold!

Since its first publication, The Artist's Way phenomena has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron's novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems…

Book cover of Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind

Why this book?

This book is perfect for anyone who likes to see research that supports what they believe. There’s science behind the study of creativity and Wired to Create does an excellent job explaining it. Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research, this book offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire study the latest findings of neuroscience and psychology, and the practices of well-known “creatives,” concluding that we are all, in some way, wired for creating, and everyday life presents endless opportunities to express that.

Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind

By Scott Barry Kaufman, Carolyn Gregoire,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wired to Create as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is it possible to make sense of something as elusive as creativity?

Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Revealing the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, along with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire untangle a series of paradoxes— like mindfulness and daydreaming, seriousness and play, openness and sensitivity, and solitude and collaboration –…

Book cover of Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives

Why this book?

I met the author, Adam J. Kurz, at a conference for creatives, and his story of starting and growing his creative business inspired me to buy this book. In the book Adam shares tiny, easy-to-read tips for creatives who want to share their work with the world in their own unique and authentic way. Each page of the book is perforated so you can tear it out and send it as a small reminder to a friend. I love the message in the title – things are what you make of them – and this book offers you a unique perspective on failure, success, creative block, fear, starting again, and organizing your work life so you can enjoy it. 

Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives

By Adam J. Kurtz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Things Are What You Make of Them as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Adam J. Kurtz wants you to feel better. About yourself. About the world. About the creative process." -Adweek
 
Insights and inspiration for anyone who makes art (or anything else) from someone who's been there (and maybe still is).

From the creative mind and heart of designer Adam J. Kurtz comes this upbeat rallying cry for creators of all stripes. Expanding on a series of popular essays, this handwritten and heartfelt book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others in his signature tone: empathetic, vulnerable, inclusive, and conversational. Perforated tear-and-share pages make it easy to display the most…

Book cover of Writers Dreaming: 26 Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process

Why this book?

This is one of only a few books I’ve found that looks directly at the way writers can use dream awareness in their creative practice. It’s a collection of interviews with twenty-six well-known authors compiled by dream researcher and radio-show host Naomi Epel, in which they talk about specific dreams that have inspired them and their thoughts about dreaming in general. I bought a copy to dip into on the train to London for a meeting but found it so fascinating, I abandoned my plan to do some sightseeing afterward, and made instead for the nearest bench and takeaway coffee, to spend the afternoon reading.

Writers Dreaming: 26 Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process

By Naomi Epel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Writers Dreaming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As they discuss their dreams--both sleeping and waking--with Naomi Epel, the 26 writers in this intriguing book create a portrait of the creative process that is more candid than most autobiographies and more inspiring than any guide to writing.

What It Is

By Lynda Barry,

Book cover of What It Is

Why this book?

All game designers struggle with what it means to be creative, and whether they are doing it properly. What It Is and its companion book, Picture This are very personal guides to what it means to be a creative person, and are full of inspirational stories and very practical tips to create your best work and not get in your own way. 

What It Is

By Lynda Barry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What It Is as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Deliciously drawn (with fragments of collage worked into each page), insightful and bubbling with delight in the process of artistic creation. A+" -Salon

How do objects summon memories? What do real images feel like? For decades, these types of questions have permeated the pages of Lynda Barry's compositions, with words attracting pictures and conjuring places through a pen that first and foremost keeps on moving. What It Is demonstrates a tried-and-true creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or to remember. Composed of completely new material, each page of Barry's first…

Book cover of The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self

Why this book?

There are lots of how-to-write books with a chapter or two on motivation, inspiration, perspiration, and how to get over writer’s block. But The Artist’s Way is all about what’s happening when the creative part of your life gets stuck, or never started in the first place. It goes to the sources of your human creative energy, and helps you to understand how to find them and feed them, and then how to unblock the channels which prevent that energy from actually flowing into your art, writing, or anything else. You can work your way through the book to establish a creative practice or, like me, return to it at different times, cherry-picking her ideas and processes to suit different kinds of stuckness. 

The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I love it. A practical, spiritual, nurturing book.' - Russell Brand

Since its first publication, The Artist's Way has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert, Tim Ferriss, Reese Witherspoon and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron guides readers in uncovering problems and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to open up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery.

A revolutionary programme for personal renewal, The Artist's Way will help get you back on track, rediscover your passions, and take the steps you…

Beautiful Oops!

By Barney Saltzberg,

Book cover of Beautiful Oops!

Why this book?

The imaginative Beautiful Oops! is a fun, artistic romp with an interactive design. There are many creative ways of engaging the child, such as lift-the-flap, look through the hole, and so forth. All are in the service of how to incorporate mistakes into your art, and presumably into your life. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be a family or a classroom that describes inconsequential mistakes as beautiful oopsies? I suspect that far fewer meltdowns would ensue.

Beautiful Oops!

By Barney Saltzberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beautiful Oops! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We all make mistakes - grown-ups and children alike. But little kids sometimes have trouble dealing with their mistakes, whether it's a piece of artwork they've torn by accident, or juice they've spilled on their favorite drawing. In this book, every page begins with a 'mistake' that ultimately unravels, lifts out, or pulls up to become a surprising work of beauty. Kids see firsthand as they go through the book that any smudge, smear or stain can lead to something absolutely marvelous - with a little imagination. Inspiring and inventive, this interactive board book teaches a valuable lesson: 'When you…

Book cover of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Why this book?

When I first heard about The Artist’s Way, I doubted that this was a book for me. Was I wrong! Over the next year, I met monthly with a visual artist to process each chapter. We discussed prompts, our artist date, or what we wrote from the suggested journaling. The invitations at the end of each chapter led me to work that fed my spirit. Transforming theory into action exercised my creative muscles. The variety of creative engagements encouraged a rich body of work and a new confidence, while the book’s quotes introduced me to other thinkers. Artist’s-Way work not only strengthened my words on the page, but my nonprofit and library work flourished as well. I credit The Artist’s Way for pushing my work into award-winning territory.

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Artist's Way provides a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. It aims to dispel the 'I'm not talented enough' conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist. Its step-by-step approach enables you to transform your life, overcome any artistic blocks you may suffer from, including limiting beliefs, fear, sabotage, jealousy and guilt, and replace them with self confidence and productivity. It helps demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. Whatever your artistic leanings, this book will give you the…