Books on Creativity
Books On Craft
The Big Magic Podcast Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite thinkers on creativity and a beautiful author, walks creatives down the path of creativity. So incredibly helpful for all us struggling in our creative lives. Bonus: she has super cool guests on the podcast like Neil Gaiman and Brandon Stanton. I often handpick podcasts for my clients to listen to.
Zen Pencils is my one-stop shop for inspiration. Famous quotes drawn and turned into stories - it's most excellent and I send special ones to clients in need.
On Being The website connected to the On Being podcast, this is an absolute treasure trove as you delve into your creative and spiritual depths. Wonderful interviews on here, as well as excellent blog posts.
Brainpickings This is a great sight for in-depth explorations of what it means to be an artist, to be human, to exist in the world we live in today. Curated By Maria Popova.
The Dear Sugar archives on the Rumpus will split you in two, rearrange everything in you, then put you back together again. This is writing at its finest.
Here’s where you can learn more about The Artist’s Way. This course profoundly changed my life and is a large part of why I’m a published author today.
Danielle LaPorte has tons of great resources on creativity and hustling on her website.
If you're a children's or young adult author, then you want to be a member of SCBWI and take advantage of their amazing resources and events. It was through SCBWI that I found the best writer's group a girl could ask for. Great opportunities for networking in your region - even if you live abroad! Their website has tons of resources for all things kidlit and publishing.
Get a poem-a-day in your inbox (I do!) at poets.org.
Passion Planner My clients LOVE this thing - so do I! They also allow free downloads of the planner, so you can try it out before you buy it. It’s pretty cool, especially for you procrastinators. It’s designed for creative people and it’s so cool seeing your progress towards making those dreams of yours come true.
Scrivener One of the best things you can do as a writer is to download Scrivener and use it. It’s an amazing writing program that increased my writing output tenfold. It’s far more efficient than Word in terms of organizing. It auto saves everything and makes it really easy to jump around your chapters and old drafts. There is a slight learning curve, but it’s worth it. Get the Scrivener For Dummies book and you’ll be golden.
PicMonkey If you’re a published author trying to navigate marketing yourself, or you’re making your own website, Twitter header, etc. this is for you. Free and very easy to use.
Taking care of your spirit and mental health is essential to an artist’s life. Yes, I’m going to make you meditate. Even if you have what you call “meditative” practices (running is not meditation, though it can give you some of the benefits of the practice, cooking soup is not meditation, nor is taking a walk - unless you're doing "walking" meditation. Only meditation is meditation). It has absolutely changed my life and I guarantee it will change yours, too. I can’t even begin to tell you how sitting down every day and getting quiet has increased my creative flow, reduced my anxiety, decreased my migraines, increased my energy, caused me to need less sleep, to be less reactive, and oh so much more. No fooling. I, too, thought I couldn't meditate. That it was impossible. I couldn't quiet the chatter in my brain (spoiler alert: even the most practiced meditators have brains that run wild. The entire practice is all about that moment when you realize that you have lost your focus and you return to the breath, or your mantra, or whatever else you are using to focus on during your meditation). Yes, you can learn to meditate. No, it isn't hard. Yes, you will be a fucking Zen ninja master....someday.
Beginning in January 2018, I will start offering Meditation and Mindfulness For Writers online courses to help you bring this powerful practice into your writing life.
For now, here are some great resources:
If you’re new to meditation, then Headspace or the Calm App is for you. These are guided meditations, perfect for people who are certain they can’t meditate. All my clients begin using these right after our first call.
The meditation studio I go to in NYC (and where I'm getting my meditation teaching certification), is MNDFL. Not in NYC? No problem! There are online video sessions. I can't tell you how much this place and its teachers and community has changed my life.
Ziva Meditation is your go-to for a seriously blissful and transcendent practice. This is Vedic meditation, also known as the Lazy Man’s Meditation. Seriously, you get a mantra and sit and awesomeness happens. You don’t have to live in NY or LA to take the course because it’s also online. Emily Fletcher is an incredibly knowledgeable and gifted teacher, a former Broadway actress turned meditation guru. I LOVE HER. You can also find this style of meditation in other online classes through the Deepak Chopra Center and the Vedic Center in NYC. The style is similar to TM (Transcendental Meditation) without the weird cult-y feel of the TM organization. It's also cheaper and, from my understanding, more spiritually grounded (I've never done TM, so these are my lazy observations).
Mindful is a great website to learn about mindfulness practices. This will help you commit to your writing and make you aware of your negative thought patterns and any unhelpful behaviors in your life.
The way I started meditating was with a guided meditation a friend of mine had. It showed me I could actually meditate. Then I spent a few months going to a meditation center (if you’re in NYC, MNDFL rocks). Your town probably has a Zen center or perhaps meditation classes at yoga studios. I would recommend starting out in a regular group and slowly building your personal practice. Try out all different styles. I prefer Vedic meditation, but everyone’s different! I also continue to go to my meditation center for a weekly class with one of my favorite teachers, which is a combo of traditional meditation practices and therapy.
YOU CAN DO THIS.