20 Books To Spark Creativity (Because You Actually Can Force It)

20 Books To Spark Creativity (Because You Actually Can Force It)

I thought one day my brilliant idea would come. In the meantime, I’d work really hard to be skilled enough to put that idea in action when it came. It wasn’t until I was at university that I realized the idea wouldn’t come, I would have to create it.

Creativity is cultivated. In fact, it’s a skill that can be developed. So here are books written by twenty professional creators to instruct you to develop that skill.

Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon

“Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

Manage Your Day-To-Day – Jocelyn K. Glei

“If you want to create something worthwhile with your life, you need to draw a line between the world’s demands and your own ambitions.”


The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All – Tom Kelley

“You are not limited to only what you have been able to do before.”

Imagine – Jonah Lehrer

“We need to be willing to risk embarrassment, ask silly questions, surround ourselves with people who don’t know what we’re talking about. We need to leave behind the safety of our expertise.”

What It Is – Lynda Barry

“No matter what, expect the unexpected. And whenever possible BE the unexpected.”

Creativity Inc. – Ed Carmull

“If you aren’t experiencing failure, then you are making a far worse mistake: You are being driven by the desire to avoid it.”


Every Tool’s a Hammer – Adam Savage

“I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

The Immoralist – Andre Gide

“I have always thought that great artists were those who dared to confer the right of beauty on things so natural that people say on seeing them: ‘Why did I never realize before that that was beautiful too?’”


Catching the Big Fish – David Lynch

“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure.They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”

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My vacay #literature 📖👌🏻

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Damn Good Advice – George Lois

“If a man does not work passionately – even furiously – at being the best in the world at what he does, he fails his talent, his destiny, and his God.”


Orbiting the Giant Hairball – Gordon MacKenzie

“You have a masterpiece inside you, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.

Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity – Hugh MacLeod

“If you’re creative, if you can think independently, if you can articulate passion, if you can override the fear of being wrong, then your company needs you more than it ever did. And now your company can no longer afford to pretend that isn’t the case. So dust off your horn and start tooting.”

Making Ideas Happen – Scott Belsky

“A surplus of ideas is as dangerous as a drought. The tendency to jump from idea to idea to idea spreads your energy horizontally rather than vertically. As a result, you’ll struggle to make progress.”

Where Good Ideas Come From – Steven Johnson

“Being right keeps you in place. Being wrong forces you to explore.”

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are – Danny Gregory

“It’s ironic that people speak of artists as dreamers. I think they are the most grounded people around. Conscious and present. As an artist, you really see life, connect with its beauty, and create something that shares those observations with others. You notice things.”

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

“You’re not required to save the world with your creativity. Your art not only doesn’t have to be original, in other words, it also doesn’t have to be important.”

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'Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.' . If you feel the need for a creative boost then I highly recommend my current read, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I first bought this book when I was struggling with my writing a few years ago and it was the perfect tonic. For Gilbert, creativity is not about comparison or achievement, it's about unlocking ideas and following your muse/genius wherever she may lead you _ something I've done a lot since being on Instagram! This lighthearted guide encourages experimentation without fear so if you're looking for permission to stretch yourself, this could provide the spark you've been waiting for. . And while we're on the subject of leap-taking, I've posted an update about life after quitting the day job on my blog today (link in profile). So far it's been as fun and exciting as I imagined but there's still some way to go… . . . #bookcover #bookphotography #currentread #bigmagic #elizabethgilbert #makemagiceveryday #creativelifehappy #booklover #inspirecreateshare #colormyworld #booksofinsta #booksbooksbooks #bigmagicbook #myeverydaymagic #neverstopcreating #booksofig #bookworm_insta #bookstagrammer #selfhelpbook #inspireme

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The Accidental Creative – Todd Henry

“Don’t go to the grave with your best work still inside of you. Die empty.”


Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity – Keith Sawyer

“Successful creators engage in an ongoing dialogue with their work. They put what’s in their head on paper long before it’s fully formed, and they watch and listen to what they’ve recorded, zigging and zagging until the right idea emerges.”