Want to Jump-Start Your Creativity in the Coming Year? : Brain Bites

Want to Jump-Start Your Creativity in the Coming Year?

by Janet Zadina on 11/20/17

Why not read a book on creativity over the holidays?  Sometimes just one idea can really spark creativity or motivate us to jump into that creative project we have been putting off.  Occasionally, when I don’t want to start my weekend house chores, while I am having my coffee, I read a little bit in a book on organizing, feng shui, or decorating to get one idea about how to make a simple improvement.  That gets me motivated and makes mundane chores more interesting as I make an improvement here or there. Perhaps you need motivation to start writing or to begin a creative project. You could jump-start your creativity by reading one of the books in the list below.  

We are all so busy these days. Maybe you don’t have to have a big block of time to read nonfiction or you enjoy reading fiction to relax.  Keep a few nonfiction books near where you drink your coffee, or eat lunch, or by your bed. I keep an eclectic assortment near where I have my coffee. I read a few pages from whatever book strikes me every morning with coffee.   Sometimes I will come across an idea that sparks my creativity and gives me a rush of energy as I add new information to a talk or get motivated to work on my next book.  I feel that if I get one good idea from a book or a book motivates me to make a change or get started on something, it was well worth the money and the time.

This blog sounds like I am trying to convince you to read books!  No, most of you probably love to read!  I am suggesting books on topics outside your usual realm of interest or non-fiction books about your field, your brain, your health, or your lifestyle and taking them one bit at a time.

Here are some books on creativity.  I haven’t read most of them but they all came recommended.  Maybe one of these will fire you up to be more creative in the upcoming year!  They would make great Christmas gifts for your writer or artist friends!

Recently I gave a talk on creativity to faculty about how the creative brain is different from the logical brain in terms of function and activation.  Then we explored how to create the opportunity for creativity both in themselves and in their students.  CLICK HERE for more on that.

Books on Creativity (including writing and art)


Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist

Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmuli, Creativity, Inc

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit


Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Annie Lamott, Bird by Bird

Stephen King, On Writing

Ben Shahn, The Shape of Content

Grace Bonney, Company of Women

The following were suggested by author Gretchen Rubin

Bob Dylan, Chronicles

Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being:  Letters

Edward Weston, The Flame of Recognition

Twyla Tharp:  The Creative habit:  Learn it and Use it for Life

W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up

Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary

Mason Currey, Daily Rituals:  How Artists Work (includes many occupations, including scientists)

with Dr. Janet Zadina
Copyright 2013 Janet Zadina, Ph.D. All rights reserved
Janet N. Zadina, Ph.D
Brain Research and Instruction

Science and Strategies
Janet N. Zadina, Ph.D
Brain Research and Instruction
Bridging Neuroscience and Education​

"Science and Strategies"
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