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

You can do it all…I guess.

Work/Life Balance is such a buzzword nowadays. Everyone wants to figure out how to be amazing, do amazing things, all at once, across every area of their lives. Recently, someone sent me a message after the short film, The Reunion, was released and said, “Tracey, you are #goals! You’re a wife, mother, professor, writer, and now filmmaker. You can do it all!”

And while it stroked my ego a little to hear someone seemingly compliment me in this way, the real, down and dirty truth is…that’s a lie. As much as I want to, as much as I may even manufacture a persona that appears to–I can’t and don’t do it all. At least not all at the same time. And I firmly believe that the oh so elusive “work/life balance” can never be achieved in any way that is fruitful until we all come to terms with that.

We can do all that we dream, all that God has placed on our hearts—just not all at the same time. Being able to move with the ebbs and flows is a critical component for success in any area of life. In fact, the name of this company, NewSeason Books and Media, is a testament, if not reminder, of that very thing. There are seasons in our lives. There will be mountain highs and valley lows. There will be times when you must sit EVERYTHING down to tend to your family and those you love. There are times when your family will be called to sacrifice for the calling that is on your life. It’s important that you learn to grace yourself and others in all of these moments. The journey you are on will swallow you whole if you don’t.

Finding balance is really just about knowing which season God has you in and not lingering too long in one when another awaits. Even when the one that awaits you isn’t part of your original plan. There’s a current that God is using to take you to your destiny. Don’t swim against it.

Grace and Peace,



“If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby’s first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter’s debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh’s last scene ever being filmed at Grey’s Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost. Something is always missing. And yet. I want my daughters to see me and know me as a woman who works. I want that example set for them. I like how proud they are when they come to my offices and know that they come to Shondaland. There is a land and it is named after their mother. In their world, mothers run companies. In their world, mothers own Thursday nights. In their world, mothers work. And I am a better mother for it. The woman I am because I get to run Shondaland, because I get write all day, because I get to spend my days making things up, that woman is a better person—and a better mother. Because that woman is happy. That woman is fulfilled. That woman is whole. I wouldn’t want them to know the me who didn’t get to do this all day long. “ – Shonda Rhimes, Television Writer and Show Creator