7 titles to spark creativity

7 titles to spark creativity

In Reading Lists by Molly Hurford

7 titles to spark creativity

Sometimes when you feel stuck, the best thing to do is the opposite of what you think. For example, if you’re frustrated by writer's block, try going for a walk outside, reading a book, or breaking down your task into smaller pieces instead of staring at a blank computer screen. Get more tips from the pros in these books on beating procrastination and making room for productivity.

Procrastination is an issue for all of us at some point. King takes us through the science of why we're stalled, and why we wait until the last minute to get things done. For writers, procrastination can be even trickier if there isn’t a hard deadline. Don’t worry, King can help. 

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Sometimes when we’re not productive and can’t create, it makes us think there’s something wrong with us, like we're lacking self-discipline and focus. Unfortunately, the more you believe that you lack these qualities, the truer that reality becomes. In Neuro-Discipline, Hollins investigates the science behind why our brains try to slow us down, and how to bypass that old wiring. With 20 actionable exercises, this book offers practical advice while showing the science behind it. 

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Most writer's block, for example, isn't about a lack of subject matter or a fear of imperfection, it's simply good old-fashioned procrastination masquerading as something more artistic in nature. If you have time to write, but no energy to come up with a plot, or try journaling techniques and prompts to help, you're likely just procrastinating. And that’s OK. When you’re ready to get going, read this book, it's packed with simple research-backed tools to get over a tendency to procrastinate — and get started on that manuscript. 

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Legendary author and writing professor John McPhee's short treatise on the writer's craft is a must-read for anyone dealing with writer's block. While the book isn't entirely about what to do when you get stuck, one reason writers get blocked is because they don't have a defined process. McPhee explains how to develop a creative process in a series of easy-to-digest essays. 

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There's no better person to get you out of a rut than Chris Baty, the founder of the literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). With over 15 years of running NaNoWriMo, he's gleaned advice from long-time authors and first-time novelists that will help you get started and keep going on your next writing project. 

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Many writers experience writer's block because they don't have a plan in place, whether it’s for the plot or a schedule to sit down and get to work. If we don’t know where to start, it’s easy to get stuck. Janzer breaks down the writing process into simple steps, starting with the early 'blank page fears' and ending with the editing process. 

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Jarvis is a world-renowned photographer, creative, and entrepreneur. His treatise on adding creativity to daily life is a great read for struggling and established artists alike. He reminds us that art is meant to be messy, that it's OK — even beneficial — and that small changes can have a real impact. So if you're a weekend writer, for example, your writer's block may stem from not having a daily infusion of creativity, then expecting it to immediately burst forth on Saturday morning. Perhaps just five minutes every morning on weekdays can make a big difference.

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About the Author: Molly Hurford

Molly is a writer and bookworm in love with all things wellness related. When not playing outside, she’s writing or podcasting about being outside and healthy habits for The Consummate Athlete. She also writes books, including the Shred Girls series. In her spare time, she runs, rides bikes, and hikes with her mini-dachshund and husband.
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