Review: Creative Confidence

Creative Confidence:  Unleashing the Creative Power Within Us All

As I mentioned in my New Year, Fresh Start post, I received this book for Christmas. I love reading about creativity and mindful living, so when I came across this title after attending an MSU Business & Bagels event on Creativity, Innovation, and Communication; I thought it would be something I’d enjoy. And…success! (Always fun to find a new go-to tool for sparking creativity.) This book is now part of my arsenal for inspiriting self-confidence and creativity.  (You may recall the three-part series I did last year – turns out, this is an unintended part four!)

Creative Confidence Cover

The Kelley brothers, Tom and David, both come from a background that’s a little unorthodox in terms of career paths. The book touches on their experiences, but in ways that are relevant to how they got where they are today, and why they’re qualified to be writing a book on creativity and confidence. While the material is designed more for career or business-oriented creativity, it seems to translate well into any problem/solution dynamic in life. Any problem can be solved creatively; it doesn’t have to translate into customer satisfaction or a balance sheet. Continue reading

Books for Igniting Creativity and Inspiring Self Confidence – Part III

The Renaissance SoulRenaissanceCover by Margaret Lobenstine

This may also be an unusual pick for inspiring creativity or confidence, but it’s a book I have always enjoyed. I’m not sure why I don’t own it, as I think I’ve checked it out of the library something like three times now.  I’ve mentioned here previously about being a “renaissance soul” and this book is where I got the term. Lobenstine herself sums up what that means:

Renaissance Souls love nothing better than to take on a new problem or situation and then dig into it…until we master the challenge we’ve set for ourselves. And then, with fresh enthusiasm, we move on to another passion. We are lucky people who, if left to our own devices, are never bored for long (2).

If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled with this concept, always being jealous of people who picked a major in college and then just went after it; getting a job with a real-live career path. I’ve always wanted that – to find just one passion and really commit to it. But I’ve never been able to, and evidently, I’m not alone. I’m never really satisfied with one or two hobbies and love discovering new things. Being in a job that doesn’t seem like “me” feels like wearing shoes that are too tight. (I digress…) Continue reading

Books for Igniting Creativity and Inspiring Self Confidence – Part II

HappinessCoverThe Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I think there are two kinds of people in this camp:  those that have heard about this book, already read it, and enjoyed it; or those people who think it sounds eerily close to a self-help book and shy away.  If you are in the skeptical group (which I typically am), it may seem a little out there, but trust me on this one.  “A book about happiness?  Wouldn’t that imply that I am categorically un-happy?”  Well, not necessarily.  Author Gretchen Rubin considered herself a pretty happy person, but in the hectic everyday, she began to wonder if there wasn’t something else she could be doing to make her life better.  (Aside from vague slices of advice like “eat more vegetables,” “get more exercise,” and “be nice.”  Those things aren’t exactly informative.)  Rubin decides to devote each month to a different aspect of happiness, and catalogs her findings along the way, so now we can do the same! Continue reading

Books for Igniting Creativity and Inspiring Confidence

CreativeHabitCoverThe first in a multi-part series!  When you’re in the creative mood, your energy and inspiration are boundless – there’s seemingly no end to ideas or motivation. But then, there are those other days, where you have the time (finally!) to let your creativity soar, and yet…nothing. To help combat that feeling, I present to you few books to help foster new ideas and just generally get you moving in a positive direction. These are texts I either rent from the library or pull off the shelf every so often to help pique my interest and get my creative confidence back. Continue reading

Evening Class – Maeve Binchy

This is the first book I’ve read of Maeve Binchy’s, and while it isn’t her first or her most recent, I thoroughly enjoyed it – enough to put a few more on my hold list at the library.  Each chapter is told from the perspective of someone involved in Aiden Dunne’s recent undertaking – an evening Italian for Beginners class at a local school.  Aiden has taught at the school for many years, and believes he is a shoe-in for becoming the next principal.  When his aspirations are dashed as he watches a slicker teacher he dislikes get the position, Aiden is placated by being given his other dream – an evening class for the otherwise rundown school.  Binchy has a way with characters, making them all likeable and yet realistic at the same time.  Nothing seems prescribed.  One gets the feeling that Binchy would have been warm woman to meet – the kind you would like to have a standing weekly coffee date with, just so her positivity rubs off on you. In this novel, the individual stories of the characters become wound around one another, so that by the end, you have been given the last few months of each person’s life and are caught up with everyone.  Binchy’s writing makes you realize that everyone you meet has a story to tell, no matter how mundane it might look from the outside; and that a community can be created in the unlikeliest of places.

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy