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“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” ~Chinese Proverb

Part of keeping the creative juices flowing is being deliberate about cultivating creativity, which I’ve written about here at length before. While there are many ways to do this, one of my favorites is reading books and interesting blogs. Given how technology makes it so easy to read, whether from a tablet, Kindle, phone, or real book, there’s no real excuse not to engage in something that interests you wherever you are.

I’m constantly looking for old and new books to provide ideas, inspiration, and insights that help with all of the different parts of my life. Here’s what I’m reading this month!

  • Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky – a great read on productivity, and how to capture and execute your creative ideas with focus and clarity. For anyone who suffers from idea overload (like I do), this book provides guidance and case studies from artists, companies, and others who make their ideas happen. Consider this equation: Creativity + Organization = Impact. That explains why some “less-creative” artists seem to build successful careers more often, and why execution is more important than inspiration.
  • Letting Go of the Camera by Brooks Jensen – more than just another “how-to” book, this collection of essays by Brooks Jensen gets at the heart of what photography is all about. “If you want to become a better photographer, become a more practiced observer and then get out of your way.” Learn to “see” what really matters in photography, and how to grow beyond a dependence on technology.
  • Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – Think you can’t draw? Think again – this book dispels the myth that only those with a natural talent for drawing and creativity can be artistic. We’re all inherently creative from birth, and as Picasso famously said, the challenge is remaining creative as adults. This books teaches anyone to draw, and in the process tap into their natural creative abilities in all parts of life.

Where do I find out about books to read? One great source is my favorite blog – Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings, which is amazing in its breath and scope. Reading and writing about any and all subjects that help enrich our lives, Maria delivers insights into creativity, philosophy, art, writing, science, and many other topics. She describes it as “a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why.”

No, it’s not a photography blog, but I get more value from it as a photographer and teacher than any other website I know of. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I will be adding these books to my reading list. I really like Scott Belsky. I am currently reading “Making Things Happen.” I also highly recommend reading “Millionaire Messenger,” by Brendon Burchard.

  2. Robert – it was great seeing you at Expo.

    On the off chance you haven’t read, a recent new-to-me recommendation was Barry Lopez. Arctic Dream (1986 – Natl Book Award) and several other titles about living with and in the world around us.

  3. Hi Robert:I am a fairly new reader of your site and I enjoy your posts and look forward to your comments. I was wondering what camera system you would recommend to someone wanting to upgrade to a full frame. I have always used Nikon, currently a D7000. I have a limited budget but would be willing to purchase a pro system as I would not have to upgrade later on. I am currently reading about and practising landscape photography, thinking someday of turning pro or semi pro. It would be nice to earn enough to pay for some of the equipment I would need. Your posts on Olympus are interesting especially on the weather proofing, or would you recommend I switch to Cannon. Looking forward to your answer, Thanks, John.

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