Audible-Done-While-Listening-Colorful-Subway-Stations-1Summer 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.

Audible-Done-While-Listening-Colorful-Subway-Stations-2Have 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.Audible-Done-While-Listening-Colorful-Subway-Stations-3From 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.Audible-Done-While-Listening-Colorful-Subway-Stations-4I’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.Audible-Done-While-Listening-Colorful-Subway-Stations-5Elizabeth’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.Audible-Done-While-Listening-Colorful-Subway-Stations-6So, 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.Audible-Done-While-Listening-Colorful-Subway-Stations-7 // Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with Audible; all views my own


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. Hi Will,

    Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful post that we can all relate to and for connecting to the Audible brand in a meaningful way (can’t wait to check it out). I love seeing the world through your eyes, always vibrant and with a fresh perspective. You definitely have “the eye” and are one of the few that truly inspire me each day. Thanks again for sharing!

    • @Rosie – It means a lot to read your kind words, thank you. I’m so happy Instagram connected us and I love following your adventures – you too have an amazing eye! Have a great Sunday!

  2. I’m so pleased you wrote this post. Not everyone has the bravery to be so open and authentic and this is why I have loved reading your blog for many years. Your work always inspires me & many others so keep doing what you do.

  3. Great post! Big Magic is an amazing book, Elizabeth connects with her readers on lots of levels!

    • @Jen – Right? She has this was of bringing you into her world and experiences and making them so relevant and relatable to your own. Such a talent!

  4. Can’t say how much I needed this read today. I woke up doubting my design work and feeling like a fraud. Knowing that someone I admire also has creative doubts makes me feel like I am not alone and I will get past it. Thank you Will. I’m going to Audible now and see if I can get the Big Magic book. My co-worker mentioned it to me last week as well so now I’m even more intrigued.

    • @Susan – Sorry to read that you are having a tough morning. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share your experiences and thoughts. Try to stay positive and I really think that Elizabeth’s sound advice will be of comfort and help. I hope you enjoy it.

  5. This is a lovely post Will! I’m sure you already know that your photography is a major inspiration to me and I think you’re incredibly talented, but it is kind of comforting to hear that even people who are working at a high level have similar moments of self-doubt like I have…no one is ever 100% satisfied with their work. I’ve had Big Magic sitting on my shelf for a while now and based on what you’ve written here about it, it will certainly be my next read! And PS, anyone who can make the NYC subway look this good is most certainly very talented! 🙂

    • @Jackie – So grateful for your support, Jackie! I found that Elizabeth helped me come at my creative insecurities from a new perspective. Her pragmatism was very refreshing and helpful. (And thank you very much for the compliment, it’s kinda ironic that a post about my photography involved shooting in one of the most un-photogenic/hard to photograph places in the city. Haha!)

  6. Will, thanks for your words and your pictures (both here and on Instagram). While I’m not an ‘artist’ in the normal use of that word, I’m a software developer, and I struggle with the creativity that is involved with that and struggle to know if I’m doing enough. I can’t wait to read Big Magic, it sounds wonderful. Keep up the awesome!

    • @Spencer – Thanks for stopping by and for your support here on Instagram. I just checked out your feed and I love the picture of the mountains at sunset – so beautiful. It’s interesting to hear your experiences of this feeling from the perspective of someone in a different field. Thank you for sharing and I hope you enjoy the book!

  7. I have been really enjoying Elizabeth’s book too. It’s next to my bed, which kind of helps those late night fears and early morning worries! I’m also loving Audible, particularly for long car journeys. xo
    PS your photography and creativity are brilliant! x

  8. Hi Will. Thanks for sharing about your own creativity journey and self doubt. And about the book you’re enjoying. Someone once told me that you know you’re an artist when you wake up some days and worry that you won’t have any creative ideas. I’m currently doing an online 5- month course with a wonderful group of artists with Alyson Stanfield’s Its called the Art Career Success System and I’m amazed at how well it helps us confront those fears and write and write and write to draw out of us what we are truly trying to say and do with our art. I’m learning so much!! Its nice to know other successful people like you still have self doubt and also work on that part of your life too. Thank you! Xo p.s. plz check out my new website when you have a minute. I’d appreciate your feedback. ?

    • @Deborah – Thank you for all your support. So interesting to read about the course you are taking and how it’s helping you with your creative fears – I love the ideal of writing to draw out your deep feelings and thoughts on something you are struggling with internally. Fantastic! Also, your website looks lovely. Congrats on the re-launch! 🙂

  9. Such a great post, Will! I always love how you stay true to your mind’s eye and the authentic way in which you approach what you do! Have an amazing rest of your day!

  10. You are the most creative person I know Will, and your photography is beautiful. I do understand the self doubts though. But know this. You inspire us all. And thanks for inspiring me to try Audible books btw. Not tried them before but such a good idea. xx

    • @Carole – Thank you so much, lovely, that really means a lot. Yes, Audible is fantastic. I listen a lot during long subway and car rides (especially now that everything is miles apart here in the US!) and also while cleaning the apartment. xx

  11. Will definitely have to check the book out. I think all creatives can relate to these feelings and it’s not about how creative your work seems on the outside perceived by others but your own feeling and it’s amazing that you found something that helps you move through!

    Kosta // Cool Gear Cavalier

  12. Pingback: #FreshFor Fall with Bright Bazaar - Joe Fresh

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.