Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A couple of books I love....




I love books and I read a lot.  I read fiction but I also love books about creativity and photography.  Without a doubt the two that have had the biggest impact on me in the last year are these two:  The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh.

I have no idea why it took me so long to discover The Artist's Way but I am so glad that I did.  The three main things Julia Cameron recommends in it for unlocking and nurturing creativity are morning pages, walks and artist dates.  I've been doing morning pages all year (OK, most mornings...) and they really are amazing.  They soon become habit and are not the massive deal that they seem in the first place.   I also try to do the walks - much nicer than the gym and great for inspiration.  The one thing I continue to struggle with is the artist dates - once a week you have an artist date with yourself (anything from going to a gallery to buying some funky nail polish and doing your nails).  According to Julia Cameron herself, this is not unusual.  Everyone seems to find it difficult to carve out time to nourish themselves.  Still, something I'm working on.

Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh is a book that I keep going back to.  Each time I do, a different aspect resonates with me which I love.  This is the book which gave shape to my woolly, undefined ideas about my photography and where I was going with it and these two quotes pretty much sum it up (which I've quoted here a lot, I know!):

"Because it is our ordinary, we believe it is everyone's ordinary.  It's not".

"We have to reclaim the extraordinary in the everyday.  That's where the art is".

These two books are pictured with my morning page journal (the black journal) and my gratitude journal (with the pink ribbon).  I've been keeping the gratitude journal for a few weeks since being introduced to Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach (I have the audio version) through Beyond Layers.  Every day, I write down 5 things I'm grateful for that day.  So simple yet it's amazing the impact it has on your outlook.  Really, I have so much to be grateful for.

So, what about you?  Any books you'd recommend for my bookshelf?



Written for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.
Jamie Ridler has interviewed both Julia Cameron and Patti Digh as part of her Creative Living podcasts.  Follow the links if you'd like to hear them (they're free!).


12 comments:

  1. my dear what a nice post! your photo is beautiful. the authors should be so pleased at how beautiful you captured them in the shoot and in your words of praise!
    what an exciting exercise on thankfulness and so inspiring. some times i wake in the night and have the hardest time getting back to sleep it helps to say a prayer of thankfulness of the ordinary things i take for granted... thank you for my soft bed, for my clean sheets, my feather pillows, for the quiet, for the stars, etc... my ordinary is not nessesarily everyones... indeed. how thankful that i am that it's my ordinary!

    on my book list as of late, honestly, it's been all cookbooks. husband brought me new cookbooks in his last round of traveling.
    sorry not the same as your books but just as lovely to me :)
    have the sweetest day!
    xo tracie

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    1. Thank you Tracie, you are such a sweetie. :) And I meant share ANY books, I love them all....so come back and tell me about your cookbooks....What a lovely husband to bring your back gifts from traveling. Happy Wednesday. x

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  2. these books sound really interesting, I dont often read books like this- perhaps i should!
    I'm reading 'we need to talk about kevin' which is very good- but have also finished recently a book called 'wonder' by RJ Palacio- great book, I would highly recommend it.

    your books here are beautifully photographed.

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    1. Thank you, Leanne. 'We need to talk about Kevin' has been on my book shelf for ages, I must actually read it - several people have recommended it. And I hadn't heard of 'Wonder' but it looks great, has gone on my wish list. Thank you for your recommendations. :)

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  3. I like your gratitude journal. I have one too. I don't know what sort of books you like, but I really enjoyed "Lark Rise to Candleford" by Flora Thompson. I also enjoy all the Tracy Chevalier books. Her last one was "Remarkable Creatures." She also wrote "Girl with a Pearl Earring." I love your photo with the books... it makes me want to start a new one!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. I loved 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' so will definitely check out 'Remarkable Creatures'. I haven't read Lark Rise to Candleford - never got into the TV series either - but I love that sort of historial/nostalgic subject matter so I think I'll give it a go. Thanks so much for suggesting them.

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  4. Thank you for discussing The Artist's Way here Becs.
    I've had this book for at least 2 years now, and just cannot seem to get "into" it.
    I am not sure why, since so many only have good things to say about it.
    You have inspired me to give it another try.
    Thank you!!
    xo.

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    1. Oh you really should Lisa, it has made such a difference to me. You have to get really stuck in and do the exercises and stuff - they are amazing even if they don't make much sense at the time - I've looked back at many of them and had an 'aha!' moment. Sometimes I think you just need to be in the right space to get into something so maybe now is the time! Good luck and let me know how you get on. x

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  5. Becs,

    For photography, I highly recommend David duChemin. I already have "Within the Frame: The journey of Photographic Vision" which is fantastic. His book "Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images" is right now on its way to me from Amazon - have heard only good things about it.

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    1. Brilliant, Brenda! I knew you'd have fantastic photography suggestions. I'm off to check them out now, thank you for suggesting them. :)

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  6. Fun post and lovely photo! I haven't read "The Artist's Way" yet, bur really enjoyed "Creative is a Verb!" I go back to it when I need a little boost. For inspiration re photography, I really found the "Tao of Photography" by Gross and Shapiro a wonderful book. I just finished "the Hunger Games" which I didn't want to read, but once I started it, I couldn't put it down.

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    1. Thank you Gina. I loved the Hunger Games too - couldn't put it down either! Thank you for recommending the 'Tao of Photography'. I've heard of it but not seen it - I will go and check it out. :)

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