Summer has flown by, don’t you think?! It feels like only yesterday I was sharing my Top Five Summer Reads and already we’re approaching autumn. In my last Audible blog post I spoke about listening to books on the beach and by the pool, after all it frees up another hand for a cocktail, right?! While I use the Audible app to listen to books as a way to relax, I also find it a great way to get inspired and invigorated for new creative opportunities and adventures, too. After the jump I’m sharing which book I’ve been listening to recently for inspiration as I go about my day-to-day life in New York City.
Have you heard of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear? Well, it’s the most recent title from the author of Eat, Pray, Love and it’s been accompanying me on my recent errands across the city.From the emails and comments I’ve had from readers over the years, as well as from conversations with some of my friends who work in creative industries, I know that I’m not alone in questioning my ‘creativity’ and ability to innovate within my field of work. You guys hear me on that, right? Artists, writers, illustrators, photographers, graphic designers and so on – the feeling of doubt is often familiar to us all. It comes from that dark voice in your head that tells you: ‘you’re not creative enough’. I’ve often found myself pondering those two works ‘creative’ and ‘enough’ because they are both so, well, tangible. After all, what is deemed ‘creative’ to one perhaps isn’t another; the same is true for what one considers to be ‘enough’ differs between us all. Yet, that sense of doubt still has a habit of creeping in.I’ve always felt connected to photography. I struggle to use a pencil to draw the moments I see and with a paint brush in hand I’m limited beyond the walls of a room! Yet, when it comes to holding a camera and looking through the viewfinder, I feel like I’m doing a creative practice where I am able to accurately deliver what I see in my head for the picture: taking it from my imagination, through the lens and onto the screen or into print. I’m self taught in photography and have spoken openly before about how I sometimes question my creative ability when it comes to my photographs. I believe I have ‘the eye’ but at times I hit road blocks and question whether I’m offering a new perspective or something fresh that really feels as though it’s unique to my personal vision. It’s times like this when that doubt starts to creep in – perhaps on a long late night subway ride or as I cross town between meetings and it feels like I’m juggling so many balls at once – that I like to listen to Big Magic. I love it when books are narrated by the author themselves as it helps to give that extra personal touch, especially on a topic such as this which feels so close to home.Elizabeth’s conversational tone feels friendly and welcoming throughout the book. I love how she shares her own story and history and connects those experiences to the wisdom she has garnered over the years about creativity. It’s her excellent sense of balance, especially between her shared moments of spirituality that she pairs with useful pragmatism that I find most helpful in my creative pursuits. There are moments when she is quite direct, but I like that. She has a way of making the common sense solutions to my creative fears suddenly so clear. I like that she talks the listener through the attitudes and habits they can embrace to make them feel as though they are maximizing their creativity – and, crucially, feeling like it is worthwhile.So, as much as I enjoy listening to a gripping thriller, I also love to make use of ’empty’ time by listening to inspirational books while making my way around the city. As I seek out color on my day-to-day adventures, listening to Elizabeth’s book has helped me overcome my creative fears in photography. Yes, I still want to work on improving my photography and editing skills but I am now able to see the successes and positive moments in my work. Have you felt a similar way to this? Do you listening to books as you commute or go about errands? I’d love to hear of any books that you have found inspirational, too! Also, you can check out Audible with this free trial. // Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with Audible; all views my own