2018 Reading List

With the New Year approaching, everyone is discussing their plans for self improvement. One of the ways I am constantly developing myself is by reading. If you consider yourself a creative, YOU HAVE TO BE READING. This is a very simple way to stay fresh and relevant. I've listed 5 books I have on my reading list for 2018. Feel free to join me reading these books throughout the next year!

BONUS: I added a 6th book with several creative excercises to help you strengthen your creativity. I've never used this book, but I've often found myself wondering if there was a resource like this out there... well, there is!

 

 

1. THE WAR OF ART by Art Pressfield.

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.

 

2. Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Art HUGH MACLEOD.

When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog-gapingvoid.com-and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures. MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person? Ignore Everybody expands on MacLeod's sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice. For example: -Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more commercial will just make people like it less. -If your plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything.

Things are made slowly and in pain. -Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There's no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one. -The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours. The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. After learning MacLeod's forty keys to creativity, you will be ready to unlock your own brilliance and unleash it on the world.

 

3.Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk by Jordan Raynor.

We were created by an infinitely creative God to reflect his love and character to the world. One way we do that is by continuing his creative work. In this energizing book, serial entrepreneur and bestselling author Jordan Raynor helps artists, entrepreneurs, writers, and other creatives reimagine our work as service to God and others, addressing such penetrating questions as

- Is my work as a creative really as God-honoring as that of a pastor or missionary?
- What does it look like to create not to make a name for myself but to glorify God and serve others?
- How can I use my work to fulfill Jesus's command to create disciples?
- Will what I make today matter in eternity?

To answer these questions, Raynor shares compelling stories from an eclectic group of 40+ Christian entrepreneurs, including the founders of TOMS Shoes, Charity: Water, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Guinness, HTC, and Sevenly, as well as nontraditional entrepreneurs such as C. S. Lewis, Johann Sebastian Bach, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Raynor's "show" rather than "tell," story-driven style makes you feel as if you are sitting at the feet of some of the godliest and most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

Perfectly poised to reach today's growing creative class, this unique work restores God's position as the first entrepreneur, helping readers see the eternal value in the work they do today.

 

4. Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger.

Explorers Lewis and Clark had to adapt. While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting. You may even feel that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along.

Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. He offers a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world.

If youre going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind canoes and find new navigational tools. Reading this book will set you on the right course to lead with confidence and courage.

 

5.Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity by ED CYzewski.

Creativity is a gift everyone has been given to share, but doubt, discouragement, and distractions hinder the ability of many to pursue their creative passions. Creating Space advocates for the creative gifts in every person, arguing that...

- Creativity is not a mistake.
- Creativity can be developed.
- Creativity is a vitally important gift for others.

This brief manifesto on creativity is for everyone. Whether you doodle, sing in the shower, knit scarves, or scribble poems, Creating Space will encourage you to make space in your life in order to fulfill your creative calling, using your gifts to their fullest extent.

 

 

BONUS

Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills by David Sherwin.

Have you ever struggled to complete a design project on time? Or felt that having a tight deadline stifled your capacity for maximum creativity? If so, then this book is for you.

Within these pages, you'll find 80 creative challenges that will help you achieve a breadth of stronger design solutions, in various media, within any set time period. Exercises range from creating a typeface in an hour to designing a paper robot in an afternoon to designing web pages and other interactive experiences. Each exercise includes compelling visual solutions from other designers and background stories to help you increase your capacity to innovate.

Creative Workshop also includes useful brainstorming techniques and wisdom from some of today's top designers. By road-testing these techniques as you attempt each challenge, you'll find new and more effective ways to solve tough design problems and bring your solutions to vibrant life.

 

 

What books are you reading in 2018? Comment below!