Synopsis: Learning to write starts with learning to do one big thing: pay attention to the world around you, even though just about everything in modern life makes this more difficult than it needs to be. Developing habits and practices of observing, and writing down what you notice, can be the first step away from the anxieties and doubts that can hold you back from your ultimate goal as a writer: discovering something to say and a voice to say it in.
The Writer’s Eye is an inspiring guide for writers at all stages of their writing lives. Drawing on new research into creative writers and their relationship with the physical world, Amy E. Weldon shows us how to become more attentive observers of the world and find inspiration in any environment.
Including exercises, writing prompts and sample texts and spanning multiple genres from novels to nonfiction to poetry, this is the ideal starting point for anyone beginning to write seriously and offers refreshing perspectives for experienced writers seeking new inspiration.
Why I like it The Writer’s Eye is a wonderful resource for aspiring writers, written in a very accessible style and packed with thoughtful and helpful advice. Amy shares her own challenges as a writer and the advice that she gives to her own students. She includes very relevant examples to illustrate her points and throughout the book there are a number of helpful exercises. I particularly liked the chapter on Building a World on the Page.
If you have ever felt inspired to write, this delightful book is the perfect companion for your journey. Highly Recommended!
In the run up to the festive season, life can hurtle along more than usual and many of us find life hectic enough normally; which is why it’s really important to try and take as many opportunities to hit the pause button, if only for a few moments.
This time of year can be very difficult as we approach the shortest day, as many of us go to work in the dark and return in the dark, the only sight of daylight for many people may be through the office window as they eat their lunch at their desks.
Being really present for even just one moment can be surprisingly difficult, our minds are so often full of other things, plus there are so many noisy interruptions; slowing down enough to even start to be present can take some practice.
But, when you do have those moments, treasure them, whether first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or even moments during the day, take time to be silent. People have long advocated the benefits of the power nap, but stillness in the mind is equally beneficial. Just allow the tension to drift away, and as you extend those moments allow your natural creativity to emerge. So many people equate apparent busyness with productivity, but from moments spent in silent thought can emerge the most exquisite creations.
As we look forward to 2019, here are three inspiring books that can help pave the way to a more uplifting, thoughtful and motivated way of living.
You Are What You Think
365 Meditations for Extraordinary Living by DR. WAYNE W. DYER
Synopsis: One of Hay House’s most beloved authors, known worldwide as “the father of motivation,” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer was at the forefront of the personal transformation movement for decades. So many of us were touched by Wayne’s charismatic yet grounded way of speaking and writing. You may fondly remember watching one of his PBS specials or seeing him speak onstage at the many events he so loved doing throughout the years. Perhaps you were browsing a bookstore and found yourself drawn to a title, only to discover words that would change the course of the rest of your life . . . Or perhaps this is your first encounter with the wisdom of Wayne, and you’re not quite sure what this book has in store for you!
In this collection of quotes spanning Wayne’s decades-long career, you’ll find witty bon mots that make you laugh, enigmatic phrases that make you think, and wise passages that remind you of the power of your beliefs. You’ll see how his focus shifted through the years, from discussing the way of no-limit living and empowering people to free themselves of their excuses, to finding inspiration through living “in-Spirit” and discovering the beauty of the Tao. As you read a quote each day, or flip through the pages at random to find insight, we hope you take to heart the meaning behind one of Wayne’s favorite sayings:
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
From a lifetime of inspiring others Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’suplifting quotesin You Are What You Think are a wonderful source of daily wisdom, helping you toreflect, and be inspired.
How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body
10th Anniversary Editionby DAVID R. HAMILTON, PHD
Synopsis: There is no longer any doubt that the way we think affects our bodies. For former pharmaceutical scientist Dr David Hamilton, the testing of new drugs highlighted how profoundly the mind and body are connected. Time and time again, the control group of patients in drug trials improved at similar rates to those who received the medicines.
This bestselling acclaimed book was first published 10 years ago. In it, Dr Hamilton explores the effect of visualization, belief and positive thinking on the body, and shows how using our imagination and mental processes can stimulate our own defences and healing systems to combat disease, pain and illness.
In this new edition, Dr Hamilton has added four new chapters to discuss the latest cutting-edge information and extraordinary new techniques. These include using imagery to stimulate the immune system – a method that can benefit cancer patients undergoing conventional treatment – effectively using the mind to speed up rehabilitation from stroke, and powerful visualization strategies to help facilitate recovery from injury and illness.
In How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body, Dr David Hamilton highlights how profoundly the mind and body are connected and explores the effect of visualization, belief and positive thinking on the body.
How to Use Mindfulness to Calm the Hell Down and Just Be Happy by PADDY BROSNAN
Synopsis: Former investment advisor turned committed Buddhist shares a simple introduction to the deep wisdom and transformative practice of mindfulness. Everyone is talking about mindfulness, but how does it actually work and how can it help you?
Mindfulness is a simple yet radical practice that can completely transform your life. Paddy Brosnan worked for many years as an investment advisor but felt trapped in a cycle of anxiety and anger. When he began practising mindfulness every day, he found that his relationships became more profound, his interactions with others more honest and his daily frustrations and anxieties simply vanished. In other words, mindfulness helped him calm down, and he became truly happy.
This Works is the collection of tools and exercises that Paddy teaches in his workshops and events, and includes examples of everyday mindfulness from his own family life. It shows you that literally anyone can learn to meditate, and you don’t have to become a Buddhist monk to be truly zen. Through simple daily exercises, you’ll learn that mindfulness is not something you do, but something you are.
Or, put simply, mindfulness can help you be truly happy.
This is a very down to earth and easy approach to mindfulness. With clear and simple techniques that anyone can use every day,
As we move into 2019 do try and take the time to stop and take that moment, and celebrate everything that you have achieved, acknowledge those very special people in your life and resolve that whatever 2019 brings try to regularly pause and take time to breathe!
Synopsis: Too often a design or architecture degree is seen as a means to an end (a job in an established practice). But imagine for one moment that there are no employers, no firms to send your CV to, no interviews to be had – what would you do? How would you forge your own path after graduation?
The current economic climate has seen many graduates chasing a finite number of positions. The most ingenious and driven designers have found weird and wonderful ways of making opportunities for themselves, often by applying their skills across the creative disciplines of art, design, architecture and interiors. Knowing what you want from your design career and being able to adapt your strategy to suit is basic and vital – just like in the wild, designers need to evolve.
In today’s employment landscape there are both opportunities and challenges. Young people reaching the age when exam choices are made are faced with real uncertainty. What options should they choose, what qualifications will they need, is a degree necessary? For creative graduates the challenge may be even greater.
The book celebrates the various strategies that students and graduates are taking to gain exposure, while also including interviews and inspirational advice from those who are now enjoying success as a result of their creative approach to employment.
Astrological guidance, affirmations, rituals and journal exercises to help you reconnect with your own internal universe
Synopsis: From soulful self-reflection to boisterous jubilation, harness the changing energies of the moon and start living the life you’ve always wanted. This journal will show you how.
A beautiful hardback, complete with a pearlescent foil finish and ribbon marker, offering daily, weekly and monthly astrological guidance, affirmations, rituals and journal exercises alongside space to record your journey of self-discovery. Adapt your lifestyle to the phases of the moon and align yourself with the universe to live your life to the full every day.
The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal is your personal gateway to one of The Artist’s Way’s most effective tools for cultivating creativity, personal growth and change – the morning pages.
Morning pages are three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind, and are intended to provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. This daily writing, coupled with the 12-week programme outlined in The Artist’s Way, will help you discover and recover your personal creativity, artistic confidence and productivity.
The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal includes an introduction by Julia Cameron with complete instructions on how to use the morning pages and benefit fully from their daily use. Its inspiring quotations will guide you through the process, and a final chapter shows how to start an Artist’s Way study group.
Many people have been inspired by The Artist’s Way, a 12-week programme designed to encourage you to write three pages of longhand writing first thing in the morning, and in doing so unlock your creativity in whatever form. The main criteria is that these morning entries are written strictly off the top of your head, there is no set topic, but you may find that themes emerge. Each week in the journal has an introduction and each page has a quote at the bottom. There is also a commitment to the concept of the artist date – a one – to – two hour block of time set aside weekly for an excursion on your own that celebrates and nurtures your creative self. Combined together it provides a focus and creates a commitment to your own development.
A Year-Long Apprenticeship for Summoning the Muses and Reclaiming Your Bold, Audacious, Creative Side
Synopsis: It’s time to declare the beat of your own drum. With her trademark humour, enthusiasm and no-nonsense guidance, Pam Grout, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of E-Squared, invites you on a year long ‘apprenticeship’ to recognize and unleash your innate creativity. Making art does not necessarily mean painting a gallery-worthy still life or belting out a Grammy-winning song. It simply means finding a way to give your inner muse a voice in this world. Sure, there’s drawing, dancing, singing and writing, but there’s also art to be made from creating your own pair of angel wings, inventing a new toy or curating your own at-home film festival. Each week, Grout inspires you to take on a creative project, offers an inspirational message and suggests three zany activities to awaken your infinite creativity. You don’t need to know anything! You just have to begin!
This book is full of projects and ideas, each of the 52 chapters features a creative project, an inspirational message and three zany activities. Each week also includes a brief anecdote about a well-known artist who has made it. “You are in Good Company” What this book does is encourage people to open up their creativity by being encouraging, “Buy a cheap notebook and jot down three ideas every day. They can be about anything… The practice is simply a workout for your imagination” If this approach prompts even one great idea, it’s a very worthwhile investment!
Synopsis: Our lives are getting faster and faster. We are engulfed in constant distraction from email, social media and our ‘always on’ work culture. We are too busy, too overloaded with information and too focused on analytical left-brain thinking processes to be creative.
Too Fast to Think exposes how our current work practices, media culture and education systems are detrimental to innovation. The speed and noise of modern life is undermining the clarity and quiet that is essential to power individual thought. Our best ideas are often generated when we are free to think diffusely, in an uninterrupted environment, which is why moments of inspiration so often occur in places completely separate to our offices.
To reclaim creativity, Too Fast to Think teaches you how to retrain your brain into allowing creative ideas to emerge, before they are shut down by interruption, distraction or the self-doubt of your over-rational brain. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to maximize their creative potential, as well as that of their team.
Why I like it
It is very easy to over complicate discussions about creativity, but this is a very practical and inspiring approach to our everyday lives and shows how easy it is to be ‘always on’.
To reclaim creativity, Too Fast to Think teaches you how to retrain your brain into allowing creative ideas to emerge, before they are shut down by interruption, distraction or the self-doubt of your over-rational brain.
Supported by cutting-edge research from the University of the Arts London and insightful interviews with business leaders, academics, artists, politicians and psychologists, Chris Lewis takes a holistic approach to explain the 8 crucial traits that are inherently linked to creation and innovation.
Too Fast to Think is a brilliant way to start 2018 by engaging with your own creativity, and those of your family and work colleagues.
Buy Too Fast to Think: How to Reclaim Your Creativity in a Hyper-connected Work Culture from Amazon.co.uk
This book demystifies the art and practice of drawing. Through fifty drawings by great masters past and present, the techniques and ideas behind their master sketches will put you on the path to making your own great drawings. The entries also feature exercises with step-by-step instructions as well as simple diagrams providing further visual explanation to the jargon-free discussion. For aspiring artists of all ages and abilities, Read This if You Want to Be Great at Drawing will motivate and strengthen your drawing talent.
Selwyn Leamy is an artist who lives and works in London. He has experience in teaching a broad range of ages and, as a co-founder of the creative travel company Frui, has taught drawing and painting in various beautiful locations around the world. He has exhibited his landscape paintings extensively in the UK and also in Italy.
There is plenty of inspiration in this book from some of the greatest artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Vincent Van Gogh and many more. It also addresses the challenge of What to Draw, coupled with some brilliant down to earth advice about the huge scope and range that drawing can offer from simple doodling to understanding tone, perspective and so much more. If you have ever wanted to start drawing this is a perfect place to start!
What are you grateful for? An original, design-led gratitude journal with unique creative exercises, playful prompts and uplifting quotes, developed and designed by the pioneering creative organisation PATTERNITY.
Featuring gratitude logs, creative exercises, playful prompts, uplifting quotes and free -flow pages, this simple, three-stage programme will inspire, empower, and improve your happiness and well being. Developed and designed by leading creative organisation PATTERNITY using their unique insight and research. Complete with a stylish flexi-cover case and beautiful paper for writing.
Gratitude is powerful. It makes us feel happier, healthier and more hopeful.
Since launching in 2009 PATTERNITY have received international recognition for their research-based approach to pattern design and experience. In their first journal they encourage the reader to develop more positive and empowering patterns of behaviour. Improve your happiness and well being with their innovative and original three-stage programme, featuring gratitude logs, imaginative exercises, thought- provoking prompts, inspiring quotes and free-flow pages. PATTERNITY have collaborated with a range of partners across the globe in a range of fields from science to spirituality, wellbeing and creativity to explore the visual – and non-visual – patterns that shape personal experience and culture at large.
I love the positive nature of this journal; PATTERNITY believe that patterns can be an empowering and inspiring lens with which to help people design more positive and purposeful lives. I love the categories for reflection and the quality of the pages in the journal which encourages the user to write on them. The images throughout are stunning and thought provoking. The language used is beautiful and uplifting, “From dappled bananas and turquoise stripy shutters to a cosmic constellation of bubbles that emerged in your glass overnight, inspirational everyday encounters really are everywhere. We just need to open our eyes to see them.” They also encourage the users of the journal to share their own moments with PATTERNITY through social media. An absolutely gorgeous and inspiring journal!