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20 Great Books for Cultivating Writing Skills and Creativity

20 Great Books for Cultivating Writing Skills and Creativity

Writing a book can be a very harsh process. It can be likened to a marathon race where your resolve is tested. And it takes a great deal of will power to finish it. It also takes great will power to stay motivated through the entire process.

One of the best ways ways to stay motivated is to read books that not only inspire you to write but also cultivate your writing techniques. Here is a list of great books that will help you to cultivate your creativity and writing.

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Ray Brad Bury is a prolific writer who has had around seventy years of writing experience. He has inspired an entire generation of readers to dream, think and believe.

Zen in the Art of Writing is a breath of fresh air for writers. The writing in itself shows the true beauty of the written word, and uses colorful and striking phrases that can rouse you from any writing slump.

The prose gives an intimate look on the struggles all writers face. It shows how writing is a true art form. Zen in the Art of Writing is a sweet reminder to writers everywhere to take pleasure in the written word.

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky 

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

Author Scott Belsky is a entrepreneur, investor and author. And throughout most of his career has helped organizations to make their ideas into reality.

Making Ideas Happen shows how tenacity and hard work is important. Especially when it comes to writing. This highly inspiring book shows you how to make strategies that will help you realize your writing dreams.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson creates a truly immersive book that shows readers how certain people, cultures and organizations are able to come up with truly great ideas.

Have you ever wondered where some of the greatest innovations of all time come from? Who created them? How they influenced human society as a whole? In Where Good Ideas Come From the author creates an illuminating book that reveals how these innovations changed the human race and made us what we are as a people.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield is a well known author of historical fiction. He knows full well the constant struggle authors deal with everyday. It is a battle within oneself, a battle for creative success.

The War of Art is a truly inspiring read that shows how the creative struggle can be beaten by hard work and sheer tenacity. The book is full of warrior metaphors that help push you to be the best you can be.

Jack’s Notebook by Greg Falley

Jack's Notebook by Greg Falley

Greg Folley has worked as an innovation consultant and has helped to innovate some of the worlds most prestigious companies.

In Jack’s Notebook the author shows how the author was able to use his skills in problem solving to make his plans into reality. This book is a great push for anyone who is struggling with creativity. Whether you are a writer suffering from writers block or a family going through a messy divorce this book is a must have.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The flow is a mindset where your full focus is on your work and nothing else seems to matter. Next thing you know hours have passed and you have achieved your goal. This is a mindset sought by creative people all over the world.

Sadly it is not as easy to summon up as we would want. In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi teaches you how to attain this ideal state of mind for the best creative results.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

The Artist's Way By Julia Cameron

Author Julia Cameron is a highly respected author that has traveled the artist’s way for most of her life. She shows her experiences in her book The Artist’s Way.

Being a writer can be considered a journey. A journey to be the best we can be. It can be fraught with peril and rewards. This highly inspiring book shows us how we can reach our true potential if we follow the path of the writer with courage and discipline.

The Artist’s Way is in many ways the book on creativity. It is an international bestseller and countless people have used it as a guide to a creative lifestyle.

How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster

How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster

Jack Foster is a creative director for various advertising agencies with more than 40 years experience and he is now willing to share his experiences in his book How to Get Ideas.

Thinking up new ideas can be a chore. This is because truly great ideas are very hard to come by. Which is why author Jack Foster’s new book is a welcome one.

How to Get Ideas gives you the chance to think up new ideas without having to wrack your brain unnecessarily.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser 

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

On Writing Well teaches readers how to write clearly and eliminate clutter. William Zinsser creates an easy to follow guide on how to effectively write clear and concise sentence composition.

It is a quick and concise guide to improving your writing. It points out the common writing errors that you commit and gives very good advice on how to fix it.

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark 

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer is a must have for any aspiring writer. This book is a potent source of writing advice that shows readers how to reach their potential as writers.

It is a masterwork that dispenses a lifetime’s worth of creative and writing advice. It is essential for young aspiring journalist and writers.

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory 

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory

Creativity is a must for every writer. Too bad it is not that easy to find. With Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are you have the chance to cultivate your creativity.

Danny Gregory is an innovative thinker that provides inspiration to artist all over the world. As a writer you can use the contents of this book to motivate you in your quest for excellence.

Stimulated!: Habits to Spark Your Creative Genius at Work by Andrew Pek & Jeannine McGlade

Stimulated!: Habits to Spark Your Creative Genius at Work by Andrew Pek & Jeannine McGlade

Stimulated! explores five habits that can expand your creativity. It is written in a fun and innovative manner that allows you to broaden your creative horizons in the most spontaneous way possible.

This immersive book is specially designed to get you out of a rut and prevent writers block.

Story by Robert Mckee

Story by Robert Mckee

The author Robert Mckee has had a myriad of screenwriting workshops all over the world. And they have earned him an international reputation for influencing novices and helping future screenwriters.

The book in itself is about screen writing but it can be used for any creative endeavor. Story breaks down any story into separate parts and puts it back together. Through this book you can develop your story writing style to the best of your ability.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Great artists have always had a certain ritual that they always keep. Whether it is a slight mannerism or a bizarre novelty these rituals have helped them to become great in their chosen art form.

The author Mason Currey compiles the habits, routines and rituals of great artists, scientist and thinkers. If you want to follow their example read this book.

Creativity On Demand: How to Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius by Michael J. Gelb

Creativity On Demand: How to Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius by Michael J. Gelb

As a writer you need to be able to call upon a good amount of creativity and inspiration in order to effectively write your book. Sadly though motivation can be somewhat difficult o attain.

Which is why it is Creativity On Demand: How to Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius is a must have. With this highly effective book on creativity you are taught to clear you mind and open the flow of creative energy.

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley

Creative Confidence is a truly great book for writers everywhere. The book’s main premise is that everyone has creative capabilities. You just need to know how to utilize them. Author Tom Kelley shows you how to fully unlock your full potential.

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Author Natalie Goldberg has always seen writing as a practice that helps writers comprehend their own lives. In Writing down the Bones the author urges readers not to conform to self-imposed rules. the book also encourages readers to look at writing not as a systematized concept but as a way to express yourself.

The Copywriter’s Bible by Alistair Crompton

The Copywriter's Bible by Alistair Crompton

Copy-writing is a skill that takes years to perfect. It takes excellent writing skills and the innate ability to create engaging content. With Alistair Crompton’s The Copywriter’s Bible you are given a veritable treasure trove of straight forward advice on copy-writing from the best copywriters in the business.

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

The right side of the brain has always been associated with creativity. All creative thought is influenced by the right side of the brain. The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is author Betty Edwards’ revised book that draws on neuroscience research and teaches artists on how to truly tap into their creative power.

It is perfect for artists and writer alike, because it gives you greater belief in yourself and how to deepen your creative perception on the world.

The Book of Doing by Allison Arden

The Book of Doing by Allison Arden

Can you still remember when you were a child learning to make arts and crafts and making up new games everyday. Doesn’t it make you wonder how you were able to make up those games without too much trouble.

Author Allison Arden shows how in the pursuit to live adult lives we have left behind the child-like sense of wonder. In our quest to be true adults we consider ourselves too old or to busy to be creative.

The Book of Doing is a dynamic book that shows you how to tap into your inborn creative energy. It helps you to release yourself from the shackles of doubt and to open yourself up to an enriching stream of ideas.

Challenges in Writing a Book and How to Face Them

Challenges in Writing a Book and How to Face Them

Writing is both an easy and difficult process. It is easy because it is a very enjoyable process and a way for you to open yourself up to the world. You can express yourself in a myriad of ways through writing and it is through your own passion that makes the writing process easy. And yet the process can also be very difficult because there are so many obstacles that may come up in the future.

True you can start out the writing process without any difficulties but in the long run these obstacles may come up. So before you think of starting the writing process here are some examples of common challenges in writing and how to face them.

Writers Block

Of all the writing obstacles that you will face in the future, writers block may be one of the most difficult to combat. Imagine that you are just about to start working on a new book, you are so excited and everything seems so clear to you. You just sit down and type down the words on your laptop. You start out great, you make the setting of the book very intriguing and you are really enjoying yourself. Then out of nowhere you can’t seem to put two words together. You shrug it off at first then you stumble out a few sentences. They don’t seem to make any sense. You feel annoyed, then helpless and it dawns on you how uncertain you now feel. This is how writers block usually feels. It is an uncertainty on how you should proceed with your work. It will feel as if your mind is a blank and you can’t seem to think clearly. You can’t seem to make a coherent sentence no matter how hard you try.

Writers block in truth may stem from a lot of factors. It could be stress, overwork, anxiety etc. But no matter the factors though you should always tell yourself that you can still write. Writers Block is a challenge for any writer but it could be made even worse with self-doubt. The best way for you to face writers block is to calm your mind and look at it from a more logical perspective. Don’t obsess over the problem and take in one at a time. If you feel agitated with the situation you should try a change of scenery. This can help you look at the world through a whole new perspective on your writing.

Another great way to combat Writers block is to go out and take a walk, travel if you can. Do anything that will help you gain a whole new perspective in life. It is also good advice to take up a more healthy way of living because having a good overall wellbeing makes the writing process so much easier. It is also a good idea to refrain from writing for a while because writing with writer’s block is akin to an athlete who competes with an injury. You will not only be ineffective but you will also damage yourself as a writer further.

Loss of inspiration

Writing a story is a very intensive activity. This is because you not only have to work at it constantly and master your craft, you also need to have inspiration to write. Inspiration is like fuel for a writer and should be cultivated as much as possible. This is why the loss of inspiration while writing a book is a very hard challenge to overcome. If you are writing a book and you lose your inspiration don’t panic. Although it is difficult to regain inspiration when it is lost you should not lose hope. One of the best ways to regain your inspiration to write is to open yourself to new things and having a well-balanced state of mind. Just stay positive and try to look at life in a positive manner and eventually you will find your inspiration again.

Lack of confidence in your work

When you write you open yourself to the world. Your thoughts on life, your ideas and philosophies are broadcast through your writing. This is why confidence is extremely important when you write. If you don’t believe in yourself how are you supposed to convince others that your book is worth reading?

Bad work ethic

Yet another challenge for a writer is bad work ethic. Writing a novel is a difficult process and if you lack the drive and work ethic you will find yourself floundering the whole time. This is why you need to develop a good work ethic.

Having a good work ethic means being able to work at a consistent pace, to be able to will yourself to work no matter how difficult the process may seem. The best way to develop a good work ethic is by having a rigid work schedule. You should stick to this work schedule no matter what whether it is the holidays or a work day. Through this practice you will be able to develop a good work ethic.

Lack of support from family

Your family is your very first form of support and most of your creative ability and inspiration stems from them. Which is why it is so important that you have their full support. There are so many ways for you to get support from your family.

It could be through emotional support such as them cheering you on, encouraging you during hard times and just simply being there for you. You could also ask for their feedback on your book and any tips that they could give. All in all having your family’s support is very important when it comes to your continuing career as a writer.

Emotional problems

We all have chinks in our armor, no one is exempted from emotional problems. You could be going through a hard time or even going through a traumatic moment in your life. And because of these emotional problems your writing may also suffer. But in truth writing can be a solace to you. Think of writing as a form of therapy where you can let out your pain. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is.

In truth writing a book is a difficult process and takes a lot of dedication and patience to get through. But always remember that as long as you work at it and do your very best you will accomplish your dream of writing your very own book.

10 Inspiring Book Cover Designs That Will Help Sell Books

If you want your book promotion campaign to succeed and sell well, your book will have to be able to attract readers. And one of the most important factors in being able to attract readers is by having a great book design. This is because the very first thing that a potential buyer sees when looking for a book is the book cover. And it usually takes only a few seconds for a potential buyer to decide whether he or she wants to take the trouble of going to the book shelves and have a closer look at it. Which is why it is very important that you take great care when you are designing your book cover.

You could have a professional book designer look into your work, but the factors in getting a potential readers attention is still the same. And that is to be able to create an aesthetically pleasing book design that conveys the book’s main theme. Here are some great design tips that will undoubtedly reinvigorate you as a writer.

1. Know the theme of the book

One of the most important aspects of book design is to know the main concept of the book and pattern your cover design after it. This way you can have a guide in how to create the feel of the book. Just remember that every book is different and each one should have a truly unique design.
book-cover-design-inspiration-1This is one great example of knowing the theme because, it shows the peach as it should be. A huge blimp-like thing that can be inhabited by human sized beings. The title font also captures the whimsical spirit of the Roald Dahl.
book-cover-design-inspiration-2This beautiful book cover uses the silhouette of a tiger as a margin and masterfully captures the feel of the story with minimal illustrations.

2. Use Photography to give your book cover design a more professional feel

Using photography helps you to give your book cover designs more texture and a more varied line up of images.
book-cover-design-inspiration-3The photograph of the lighthouse serves as the main focal point of the cover and the dark shades of the lighthouse also accentuates the title and author.

3. Utilize a white space in your book design to create a focus

Using white spaces on your book design allows you to put a spotlight on the most important part of your book cover such as the book title. It also gives your book cover a more nuanced aspect to it.
book-cover-design-inspiration-4This book cover is a beautiful example of utilizing a white space in book design. It highlights the title of the book while also doubling as the sea. It is a simplistic design that captures the unforgiving nature of the sea and the dangers it poses to humanity.

4. Convey a certain emotion to your audience

One of the most important aspects of book design is the ability to convey an emotion through your design. The images must be able to hold the reader’s attention and make them feel something about the images whether it is disgust, pain, or happiness. It all really depends on the design.
book-cover-design-inspiration-5The cover design masterfully conveys emotion within the reader by illustrating how man can be the master of his own destiny. This is beautifully emphasized by creating the image of a man on top of a mountain.

5. Apply color to create the necessary feel for your book

Color is one of the best ways to make your book cover design pop. Just make sure that your colors match with each other because if it does not, it would look awkward and dirty.
book-cover-design-inspiration-6The cover design uses calming hues of color to show the book’s emphasis on tranquility.

6. Keep color combinations simple

Your color combinations should match with one another and go well with the theme. It is usually advised that you have a primary color, and a secondary color that helps accentuate your covers design.
book-cover-design-inspiration-7The cover design uses only a simple array of colors to create a beautiful contrast of bright and dark colors while creating a striking outline of a city on top of a cliff.

7. Heavily utilize typography in your cover design

You can use typography to accentuate your looks main story. Just be sure that you do it as tastefully as possible. If done incorrectly it would just look gaudy.
This book design is cleverly done by making the typography of the book a focal point while using it as a place for the author’s name.

8. Focus on a certain part of your design

It is a good idea to have a focal point in your book because it draws the reader’s eyes straight away to the book. Just be sure that the focal point is in complete alignment to your storyline. It would be weird if you wrote a book about the civil war and your focal point is a cat with a hat.
book-cover-design-inspiration-9This clever book cover of Thomas Harris’ acclaimed book The Silence of the Lambs uses color variations to highlight the only image in the book. It gives it a minimalist but striking effect.

9. Give your design an interesting feel

Your book design can be anything under the sun. Which is why you should make it as interesting as possible. You can use any tool or concept that you find interesting. Just remember that the more unique your book design the better.
book-cover-design-inspiration-10This book cover of Haruki Murakami’s acclaimed novel South of the border West of the Sun is quite a magnificent example of an interesting book cover. It uses a retro style and uses the contrast between the female and male face to create a mosaic like quality. It is the use of different elements that make it interesting.

10. Utilize book reviews

If your book has been reviewed, you could use them on your book cover design. Just make sure that they are well placed and the reviews are positive. It would be pretty embarrassing if you put a scathing review.
book-cover-design-inspiration-11This book design uses reviews well because they are placed at the bottom of the book. The reviews extoll the books virtues and encourages readers to read it. The fact that it is placed at the bottom of the book allows it to be seen clearly but at the same time does not get in the way of the artwork.