Reads for Creative Inspo

I was obsessed with reading classics when I was young.  I thought that if I read a lot of classics, all the classics, I would know what the adults were talking about and people would think I was smart. I also thought that reading operated on a stamp card system. You had to stamp off enough classics before you were able to read anything modern. Which was fine, because I liked reading and the more I read, the more I felt I belonged to a secret club.

I think I was wrong about reading and I burnt myself out at that pace.  Reading Animal Farm before I was 10 probably didn’t help me appreciate the nuance. I read less and less as I got older because I had to read for school. In my undergrad, I was doing a book a week. Sometimes it was a collection of Poe’s work and sometimes it was Darwin’s Origins of Species. School sucked the joy out of me and I stopped reading for pleasure.  

Since I’ve been out of school, I love reading again. We live in the heyday of the memoir and non-fiction books. I'll review two books that inspired me to live more creatively. They've inspired me to listen to my inner voice and get moving on my projects and dreams. 

They are both written by inspiring and sweet women who speak honestly. I loved reading about their failures and successes. It taught me the importance of looking out for your own interests.

Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear

This book is #1 on a lot of lists these days for good reason. It is fun and reads almost like a one on one coaching session with Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love fame.  

She highlights the importance of being tenacious, yet having no expectations of fame or success. Being realistic about your work and the outcome is important. It’s hard to imagine starting your novel if you expect it to be #1 New York Times Best Seller. It’s important to write that novel anyway. 

The alternative to making something is not making anything and that’s pretty dismal. While I think her ideas are a little esoteric at times, Gilbert taught me to be open to inspiration. Never didactic, this is a good read if you want to get inspired or give yourself a kick in the bum and get moving.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

I picked this up because I’ve recently been acquainted with Felicia Day’s web series The GuildShe’s a cult-famous actress who you probably recognize from somewhere! She made a low-budget web series about online gamers based on her experiences when she was addicted to games. 

It was so successful that she went on to make fully funded seasons of the show. Now she heads a YouTube empire that inspires geeks around the world! I didn’t realize going into this book that it would parallel Big Magic so well. She talks about her inspiration and her agony in writing her web series. It's encouraging to learn that even she had to jump through hoops to get where she wanted to be. 

I appreciated her stories addiction, anxiety, and other unglamorous aspects of her early life. She's a lovely woman and I am a total fan of hers. I hope I can catch her at a convention one day, but for now, I'll stick to enjoying her hilarious twitter. 

If you’re interested in becoming more geek-chic or need some creative inspiration, definitely check this book out.