If it wasn't for one book in particular, I might never have started this blog.
Maybe I'd eventually started a blog, likely a different blog, but that book gave me the idea of doing a Fear Year. And so, I started to share the adventures of facing my creative fears last year. Which then lead me to understand how much my mindset had been holding me back and what a huge difference some good strategies can have on your creative life. Which fascinates me endlessly.
Now here we are. As this blog post goes out, I'm updating my brand to focus on just that - mindsets and strategies that help us be brave, healthy and happy in our creativity. Had I discovered my love for that topic anyway, if I hadn't read that book? Who knows.
Books can make you do stuff
The book was Seth Godin's Linchpin. It's a book about being your best self in your work, but really, I'd say it's a book about daring to stand out and take charge of the direction of your life. At least, that's how I read it.
The resistance would like you to curl up in a corner, avoid all threats, take no risks, and hide. It feels safe, after all. The paradox is that the more you hide, the riskier it is. The less commotion you cause, the more likely you are to fail, to be ignored, to expose yourself to failure.
Ouch. He just described the inner workings of my brain, the reason I struggled with my novel. The reason I wasn't starting a blog. And the reason why it wasn't such a good idea to hide from failure after all.
Seth Godin opened my eyes to my problem - fear - and then gave me a push to go face them. Which I did. Linchpin made me reveal my creativity to the world.
Books make people do stuff all the time. At the 10 year anniversary of Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat Pray Love, the book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It was released. It's filled with stories about how people changed their lives after reading that book. It happens all the time.
Books can change how you do stuff
I had the week before last off from work and I had planned to use it to get started on the third draft of my novel. Had time been on my side, I would have already finished the book Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, but time wasn't so I had only read two chapters of it.
I started the week by reading through my second draft and immediately identified a couple of issues. While I pondered what to do about it, I read Wired for Story. And then, I was hooked.
First, it helped me pinpoint the problem of my novel. Then it gave me a whole new view of storytelling. Not that it actually was so very different from how I intuitively understood it, but Lisa Cron broke it down applied it to everything in a way I hadn't heard before.
So, I spent most of the week reading the book and working on my overarching story, ending up changing a whole bunch of things (oops). Now I'm waiting for Lisa Cron's book Story Genius to arrive in the mail, which is a guide to applying the theory of Wired for Story.
Had I not read that book, I'd probably went ahead with draft three without understanding my problem as well as I do now, and without the help from Story Genius. Hopefully, these two books will give my book a better chance of being a life-changing one.
The Teatime Creative Book Club
My go-to problem solving strategy is to read a book. Yes, Hermione Granger and I get along very well.
Therefore, when I brainstormed ideas for more interactive elements to add to this blog, the idea of a book club soon popped up. I've since found that I'm not alone in liking this idea, so I'm glad to invite you today to the Teatime Creative Book Club!
We will read books about living a creative life - but specifically which books will be decided by the book club. Maybe not all will change our lives, but I bet they will at least change our minds ever so slightly.
The book club will be exclusive for my newsletter subscribers - the Teacup Owls - so go ahead and join us if you're ready for the risk of changing your life!