My favorite books for creative inspiration

IMG_3752Summer is the perfect time to take a pile of books on holidays to read in the sun. Or to while away Sunday afternoons while our friends are abroad on holidays.  I’ve decided to share some reading lists of my favorite books for those in search of some ideas.

These are some books that I just keep coming back to, books that I can pull off the shelf and open at a random page, sure that they will bring me the wisdom and encouragement I need to hear.  Today I’ve listed my favorite books for creative inspiration.

Living out loud – Keri Smith
Lovely colourful and playful book about tapping into your creativity, including stickers, how-tos, guidance for living out loud daily.

The artist’s way – Julia Cameron
A classic, this book teaches you not just about creativity but also about how to live a life without fear and with boundaries.  I love her simple tools to get inspired (morning pages and artist dates!).

How to make a journal of your life – Daniel Price
Small hand-written jewel filled with tips for journalling by writing and drawing, full of ideas to really look at the world (beware: this book makes you want to take a notebook and go on a long roadtrip;)  )

Everyday matters – Danny Gregory
A heartbreaking memoir, such gorgeous drawings and wise words on how important it is to actually slow down in order to really see things and learn to treasure every moment.

Big magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
This book about the magic of creating is really fascinating. It changed my view on how to ideas appear and how to do the work. With her amazing podcast Magic Lessons Elizabeth Gilbert continues to dive into the subject with clarity and humour.

Happy reading!

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On being an introvert

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When I found out that I am an introvert (I think I was about 30), it was a real a-ha moment. I had so often wondered how other people managed to spend so much time in groups or hanging out with other people, when after a couple of hours of socialising the only thing I felt like was heading home to chill alone with a good book. I often felt like there was something wrong with me.

Basically being an introvert simply means that spending time with other people drains your energy, and spending time alone allows you to recharge your energy. It was such a relief to find out that I’m not flawed. Knowing that I am an introvert has helped me to just be myself, and also I’ve become much more conscious of protecting my downtime by myself so that I recharge and save my energy. The best comparison I read is that as an introvert you are like a computer battery, you have a certain amount of capacity to interact with others, but once it is empty you can’t be social again until you recharge.

It’s definitely a learning curve as I spent most of my life feeling like I constantly ‘should’ want to be more social. Nowadays I can recognise my physical need to relax in order to process a busy day at the office or a social weekend with friends.  I am practising saying NO a lot more to invitations (a part of me often wants to go but if I feel another part of me pulling back and thinking ‘this is too much, I actually just want to chill’, I do my best to listen to that voice). I try not to make too many social plans, especially when I’m using a lot of energy at work. But I do actively plan time alone to recharge (going for walks, naps, journalling, reading or daydreaming:)

A wonderful book I would recommend (for both introverts and those around them) is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She writes really well on the common misunderstandings about introverts, how the world should pay more attention to them and how to carve space for yourself in our world as an introvert.