NSB’s #TOP5Books for the Struggling Creative

So, we know.

It’s HARD out here for creatives.

Many of us want to be better at whatever it is we do but we’re constantly battling our own fears & insecurities. Some of us lack discipline & follow-through and some of us are looking to be inspired and have no idea where the muse is or where to look for it.

Did I say hard? I meant grueling!

However, we’ve found that the following books have helped us to understand who we are and HOW we can get over! Of course, this list is BY NO MEANS exhaustive. Please share with us the books YOU love!

BigMagicBIG MAGIC: Creative Living Beyond the Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert
This book came into my life at a time when I sincerely wondered if it was too late for me to BE what I thought I was only destined to watch others become. Gilbert encourages us to MAKE OUR ART (whatever that art is) and to, in turn, watch our ART, make us. She challenges us to EMBRACE that weird tight-rope we’re always walking between “inspiration” & “pragmatism”; on that rope lies our own unique creative walk.




Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person – Shonda Rhimes
While this is Shonda’s story, this is really the story of any person (especially creatives) who finds themselves hiding–hiding who we are, hiding from those around us or hiding from the life we’re scared to lead or want. Rhimes uses humor to expose how insidious & life-altering “NO” can be if left unchecked.






The War of Art: Break through the Block and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven Pressfield
This book is a kick-in-the-arse! Pressfield challenges you to take a LONG-HARD look in the mirror & deal with the biggest enemy in the war of your art–you!







Restless: Because You Were Made for More – Jennie Allen
If you’ve ever had a feeling like where you are right now is not where you are meant to be, this book is for you. Allen helps you see where that “restlessness” comes from and how your passions, gifts and even your sufferings align into a bigger picture than you could possibly imagine.






Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Anne Lamott

A favorite of our Chief Creative Office, Tracey, Lamott’s memoir challenges us to break down our work (and even our lives) into manageable pieces. We don’t have to be overwhelmed by the vision we have or the purpose we feel called to fulfill. Day by day, bird by bird.




DON’T FORGET to leave any books that have blessed you in the comments below!

– Candace