I like to think of myself as a fairly creative person (not sure my Art GSCSE counts?). I spend my spare time in a creative space working on my blog. My job in PR is what could be described as a ‘creative career’. However, like a lot of people, I am not boldly confident in my creative ideas. I ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ over things. I am self-depreciating. I find it hard to accept compliments. I am an introverted creative, stuck in a never-ending comparison trap, envious of those who are unapologetically proud of their work. I get
Thankfully over the past couple of years I have found a few books that have helped install a little confidence in my creativity when I need it. If you’ve ever been in the same boat, I implore you to give these a read.
Creative living beyond fear
If you’re struggling to find creative inspiration, in any form, Big Magic is for you.
Big Magic is one of the first ‘self-help’ style books I read where I could consistently hear myself agreeing with the author. Yes, that’s me.
In Big Magic Gilbert encourages readers to embrace their dreams, and have courage in their creativity, as she shares her wisdom when it comes to the creative process and all it entails.
Gilbert is the writer behind international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love and there is a sense of spirituality throughout Big Magic also which may not be to everyone’s tastes. But, if you can get past this and focus on Gilbert’s advice for living ‘beyond fear’ then Big Magic may be an eye opener for you.
How to stop doubting and start living an awesome life
You know you need to start being more confident when even reading a book with YOU ARE A BADASS written on the front of it makes you feel slightly embarrassed on your daily commute. Get a grip, girl.
Jen Sincero is the ideal self-help guru for those who feel uncomfortable with ‘self-help’. Sincero approaches things in a bullshit free style that essentially tells you to get over yourself, stop creating your own drama, and have the confidence to start doing. She teaches how to be confident and decisive, get over our self-generated fears, and start living the life we have always dreamed of. If you feel like you are stuck in any sort of creative, or personal, rut Sincero will pull you right back out of it.
I am not usually one to fold back pages in books to mark quotes I wanted to come back to but I couldn’t help it with this one.
Also, I am obsessed with Jen’s personal story about how she went from living in a garage to creating a six figure salary for herself in her forties. The sequel ‘You Are A Badass at Making Money’ is up there on my Amazon wish list.
Quiet by Susan Cain
Whilst not in the same sort of ‘self-help’ vein as the others in this post Quiet by Susan Cain is a must-read for anyone who has ever been labelled as ‘quiet’ as she explores how the time has come to harness the power of the introvert.
Cain deep dives in to the study of Extroversion vs. Introversion and the effect these embedded character traits have and how introversion can cause many to feel overlooked.
If you’ve ever felt held-back by your natural introversion and have seen it as a negative reason not to fully embrace your creative tendencies then this book will give you a greater understanding of why you are the way you are and why it shouldn’t stop you from feeling like you can’t achieve as much as your extroverted peers.
Work less, create more, and design a career that works for you.
Gannon who is best known for her podcast Ctrl, Alt, Delete is famed for championing the ‘side hustle’ and how in the digital era we don’t need to follow one career path for the rest of our lives, or even be limited to just one career at a time. You can be a writer/ blogger/podcaster/baker/dog-walker all at once if you want to be.
Gannon talks about the importance of having numerous different income streams and how living a ‘multi-hyphenate’ career can lead to a more financially and mentally fulfilling life.
This book is ideal for creatives who want to channel their entrepreneurial spirit but need a little push to make them believe they are going in the right direction and is packed with stats and real-life stories to give you confidence to say ‘hey, I could do that’.
If you’ve ever thought about setting up a business outside of your 9-5 (who hasn’t?) or would consider taking on several part-time jobs rather than keeping on the traditional path then you need to add this to your ‘To Be Read’ pile.
What are your recommendations?