Enter your keyword


Top 5 Books for Boosting Creativity

Top 5 Books for Boosting Creativity

The five best books on creativity to read in 2022.

A little disclosure: there are affiliate links in this post. That just means if you like one of the books enough to buy it, I might make a small commission (at no extra cost or effort to you).

Top 5 Books for Boosting Creativity

I read A LOT. One of my favourite ways to get unstuck creatively is by reaching for one of my top books on creative development. Through reading so many of these books, I have formulated a theory:

From writers, to painters, musicians or dancers, I have think the creatives of the world can be divided into two camps.

In the first camp, you have the shiny, happy people who can sit down and create a piece of art as easily as they sip a matcha latte.

They are the it’s-no-big-deal-ers, they don’t spare a thought for whether or not their art is good enough. Their skin is sun-kissed and they have deep laugh lines around their eyes. The tents in this camp are crisp white, the duvets on the camping mattresses are fluffy, they have solar-heated outdoor showers rigged up in the trees so they can bask in nature while they exfoliate. 

At least this is how I picture it, I don’t really have an idea what they’re doing over there. I am in the second camp. We have frown lines, and mud on our faces. We think someone might have brought a tent, but what’s the point of putting it up anyway? We sit in the rain. We are the Eeyore of the creative party. Being creative is hard. Mostly because we make it so ourselves, but that’s beside the point.

In other words, some books on boosting creativity are written by people who swear that making art is nothing but joyful expression, as simple as buttering toast. Others come from the second camp, with the acknowledgement that things like perfectionism, self-doubt and imposter-syndrome are big fat corks when it comes to getting the creative juices flowing.

Top 5 Books for Boosting Creativity

I like to read books from both camps. The writers who take the view that creativity is natural and should not be scary offer encouragement through free spirited expression. The writers who acknowledge that creating can be tough offer a sense of understanding and comfort when I feel weighed down by my own perfectionist armour. One of the ways I free myself up again is to read the words of other creatives and try something new.

So, here are the best books on creativity, according to me

starting with the view from the second camp (because lord knows, we need it!)

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

This book is a bit of a bible for me, it was the first book I read that acknowledged how creating art can be impossible when you’re a perfectionist. Steven’s book is a guide to defeating your “resistance”, the greatest enemy of creativity, and he offers helpful ways to overcome it. I go back to this book again and again.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert offers insights into the elusive tendencies of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She offers tips for embracing what we most love, and facing down what we most fear, through themes of permission, courage and persistence. 

Think Like an Artist: and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life by Will Gompertz

What better way to gain creative inspiration than from learning about how the greats got it done? Will’s book offers insight into the processes of some of the most famous artists in history, from Da Vinci to Warhol. An illuminating view into the habits that make people successful, with an investigation of the traits they have in common, and tips on how to incorporate these into your own routine.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

Twyla’s book is centred around a concept that I fully agree with: creativity is NOT a gift from the gods, bestowed by some divine and mystical spark. Rather, it is the product of preparation and effort, and it’s within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. As someone who treats their to-do list like a hobby and thrives with a firm plan in place, this book speaks to a primal part of my soul.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

This book is a firm favourite. Julia Cameron offers the kind of gentle encouragement that feels like a hug. It was published in 2002, but Julia has since added new insights and the latest version is an expanded edition. One of the biggest take-aways from this book is the morning pages – honestly life changing if you stick to the practice!

These are the top five books for boosting creativity that I would recommend if you asked me. 

They’ve all helped me in various ways, and I hope you find something in my compilation of creative thinking books that will help you unlock your creative potential (whichever creative camp you may find yourself in). 

No Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.