5 Books to Help Ignite Your Creative Spark

On 20 February 2015 by Alisa Damaso
Ignite your creativity AD

Art by Alisa Damaso


We all get creatively blocked every now and then. Some of us have day jobs that can leave us drained by the end of the day, and while the occasional R&R is the right kind of recharge after a hard day of work, it’s way too easy to get into a binge-watching Netflix marathon before it’s time for bed. I suggest scheduling 15 minutes out of the day to work on something you love. It can be doodling in your sketchbook, writing a small entry in your journal about the day’s major events, or even picking up that dusty guitar. 15 minutes doesn’t feel like work, and once you get warmed up, the creative juices just start flowing.

But wait — what if you’re still blocked after 15 minutes of thinking about what to work on? Or what if you don’t feel like doing the same old thing? The answer’s simple: Change it up! Here are five books (OK, four books and one app) to help you step out of your comfort zone and try something new in a different medium. It may open up new channels in your brain and spark ideas for new projects, or you might discover that you’re good at something you’ve never tried. Check them out and see if they work.


1. 642 Things to Draw

You don’t have to be great at drawing to use this creative fill-in diary by Chronicle Books. The premise is simple: Follow the prompts and draw whatever it tells you. It’s a fun way to get your creative juices flowing, and the pressure to create a masterpiece is pretty nonexistent. Want more? Try 712 More Things to Draw!

2. 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just a dabbler, 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder is totally worth the $9 (or $3 if you have a Kindle!). Ranging from silly to serious, the prompts in this book will send your imagination flying. There are exercises with certain word counts, timed exercises, and ones with constraints. I’ve already written some crazy stuff using this baby.


3. Wreck This Journal

Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal has been around for years in a few different editions, and yes, it’s as fun as it sounds! If you haven’t already heard about it, I suggest you pick it up today. I got mine as a holiday gift from my partner a couple of years ago and I’m still working on it! It’s perfect if you love fucking shit up.


4. Keezy

I know it’s not a book, but it had to go in here. This app is fun for all ages and will keep you occupied for hours. It’s a simply designed iPad app comprising of a series of multicolored buttons that you can program to create your own music. Record samples of your own and even mix them with different drum and synth kits to play a mini live set for yourself. The Fart Sound Sonata is just waiting to be written. I believe in you.

5. Mindfulness Made Simple

Wondering why a book on meditation is on this list? Well, if you think about it, mindfulness is the perfect kind of pause to an over-stimulated mind and may lead to your next breakthrough. Just take a few minutes, close your eyes, and simply be. You’ll be surprised by what a little focus on the moment at hand can clear the way for the future. And c’mon, it’s less than $2 on Kindle — how can you not?

Know any other good books that help to ignite that creative spark? Share them in the comments below!



Alisa Damaso

Alisa Damaso is an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer based
in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys the magic of the outdoors,
watching campy horror movies, and singing songs about food getting
stuck in her teeth. Her hand is married to a pencil and she never leaves
the house without a sketchbook.

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One Response to “5 Books to Help Ignite Your Creative Spark”

  • Lindsey Sterrett

    Rob Brezny’s “Pronoia”. Open a page, any page and think about life from another perspective.

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