Books for creative professionals

Reading List for Creative Business Professionals – September 2015

Travis Curry’s Book Report

I’ve never been a bookworm. In highschool I would find the cliff notes for any assigned readings and BS my way through class discussions and essays. We had summer reading assignments and I always got through those tests by the skin of my teeth! I thought reading was boring and couldn’t get into the idea of sitting down with a good book. It wasn’t until recently when I got so tired of rotting my brain watching the 7th rerun of The Real Housewives Of… and constantly reloading my iPhone’s newsfeed that I realized I should and could be doing something more worthwhile with my free time (and brain). I decided to look into some personal development books geared toward creatives & business owners. I wanted physical books so that I could get away from all of my screens (I also love the smell of a new book and the action of turning a new page).

I ordered 4 books from Amazon and decided to finish them within a month (about a book a week). These books are all quick and easy reads that can be finished in a day or less. I’m excited to share my thoughts about each of these books in hopes that someone reads this post and gets one (or all) of these books, reads them and puts their messages into action!

There are tons of business and personal development books out there, I know that to make these reads worthwhile that they need to be put into action, but I am in awe of how much reading I did this past month had opened my mind to new experiences and ideas. I wanted to share my reading list for creatives and business professionals. I think there is a lot to be said about reading and as the saying goes, “knowledge is power!”

Books for Productivity

Manage Your Day To Day by 99U, Edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Manage Your Day To Day Book Review 99U

Reading this book was an answer to my call for help! As a self-employed professional it can be a challenge to set and keep a schedule, especially when people often think that being in control of our schedule means we have constant play dates with friends, or that we can drop everything at any time. That is not the case. This book is a compilation of advice from successful business & creative professionals that share what works for them in their own day-to-day. I didn’t want to put this book down and I finished it in about 2 or 3 days. This is a quick and easy read – definitely one you should keep and refer back to as it has a lot of great pieces of advice.

Biggest takeaway: Focus the majority of your daily energy on your big picture projects and your business & career goals. Also this book has some FANTASTIC lessons on Social Media; how to embrace it and how to get away from it!

Books about Fear 

Start. by Jon Acuff

Start by Jon Acuff Book Review

I’ll be honest, this book was a challenge for me to finish. Every other book I was excited to continue reading and this book I felt like I was back to my high school summer reading list. This came as a recommendation from a friend, she said the author, John Acuff was super funny and that it was really inspiring. She was right! I can see how someone would find this really inspiring and helpful. The entire book is about finding your own awesome and living it out. I didn’t really feel very connected with the author and while he made some great points, this book didn’t do much for me. I feel as if I have found and am living out my own version of awesome, so many I needed to read this book a few years back. I’ll keep it around though, you never know when you’ll need to find your new awesome!

Who would benefit from this book? If you loved going to Youth Group as a teen but still cuss, if you’re bored in your life and need a push for change, if you’re thinking of quitting your job to go out on your own, if you’re a writer, if you’ve quit a lot of your jobs.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield Book Review

This one popped up as a suggestion as I was browsing through Amazon and I remembered seeing this book recommendation on a friend’s instagram page, so that made it an easy decision! Steven Pressfield has written a lot of fiction books and screenplays, so a non-fiction/personal development book was different than most of his previous work. This book was published in 2002, even though some of the social/tech/biz references are a bit dated, this was a fantastic read. The first night I zoomed through this, then I paced myself to finish because I really wanted to let his words sink in. This definitely has some spiritual aspects of it, but is very much geared toward professional artists.

A-Ha Moments: The entire first part of this book tackles resistance and throughout the book discusses the importance of doing work!

Books about Self Promotion

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon Book Review

I felt stuck in this aspect of my business, so this title really popped out to me when I saw it. I loved reading this because it made me feel excited to not only share my work, but my process. After I finished reading Show Your Work, I knew that I had to share my experience of reading and selecting these books. I knew that these books would be great reads for my clients (past, present & future) and to help any other creative professionals who may be looking for a little help to jump start them out of a rut.

Interesting takeaway: Don’t hang out with Vampires!! You’ll have to read the book to figure that one out!

More Book Reports To Come!

Book list for Photographers and Creative Professionals

Reading these books really helped me get out of a summer slump and I’ve since started to utilize a lot of the key takeaways I had from these books into being a better artist and business owner.

I am excited about my new found appreciation for reading. I have already received some new recommendations for books. I don’t want to just read business & personal development books, but I want to also get into other genres. I think that through reading, I can get lost in another world and find new inspiration for my photography. I look forward to sharing more book reports in the future.

If you have any book recommendations, please leave them in the comments section below. If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear what you thought of them!

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