In this unpredictable industry, during the last breaths of summer, in the face of endless to do lists we (or should I say I?) are often in need of a creative 'pick-me-up' so to speak. Here a few inspiring but also action-inducing resources, tested by yours truly.
"The Artist's Way" - Julia Cameron
Let me set a quick scene: Thursday night, having a glass of wine with a friend, talking about life. My friend: "I just don't know how I got here (job/relationship/creative endeavor... fill in the blank), I really wish I could change (job/relationship/creative endeavor) but it's just too (hard/late/silly/wrong) to do." Me: "What's your address?" Friend: "What?" Me: "I'm sending you a little book you have to read..."
True story that happens several times a year (Amazon must think I suffer from dementia.)
So what 's this book all about, you might ask? I make it quick: Julia Cameron is the ball-busting mother of every (blocked) artist. I can't fully put in words how her book has influenced me but let's say it felt like an awaking. It gave me the tools to trust and take care of my inner artist (morning pages, anyone?) Sounds a little woo-woo to you? Well it is; in the most incredible, life-changing way!
"Letters to a Young Poet" - Rainer Marie Rilke
This one is an oldie but goodie; the book is a collection of letters that Rilke (one of my favorite poets) wrote to a young soldier who asked him what it takes to become a writer. I leave you with a little taste from this mind-boggling treasure:
“In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?” -Rilke
“Keep growing quietly and seriously throughout your whole development; you cannot disturb it more rudely than by looking outward and expecting from outside replies to questions that only your inmost feeling in your most hushed hour can perhaps answer.” -Rilke
TED TALK: How to Live a Creative Life - Tracey Letts
I could've just told you to "daydream" and "let your imagination reign free" but why not let Tony-award winning writer and actor Tracey Letts tell us with a voice of authority? What I love about his talk and ultimately his advice, is how it counters so many "creating only happens when you work yourself into the ground" approaches. He emphasizes "not doing anything" as one of the most productive ways to start creating! Say what? Let him explain in his own words: