As a historian, Emily Washines reads a lot. As a creative professional, she also looks for ways to stay inspired and find new ways to create. (Read more about Emily in our interview with her here).
We asked her to recommend a few books that help her get motivated, informed and inspired while she was starting her own business and blog, Native Friends.
From finding ideas to blogging and dealing with rejection, these books will give you an edge in your quest to be a better creative professional (and reader!).
When I was starting my business I read Originals: How Non-conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant and this helped me nurture my ideas. His book has different stories that give examples including how people deal with fears and take action.
After I read his book, I also brainstormed about my future audiences. Who might be a good fit, and who my messages would not resonate with and why. Acknowledging what I am limited by helps me be more direct when I speak. I still show my curiosity with open-ended questions.
If you’re familiar with Adam Grant’s work you will see a range of methodology he utilizes as a thought leader.
A few years ago, I was researching how to start a business. Blog by Number is an eBook I purchased. On the Start A Mom Blog, Suzi Whitford details the process of selecting a business name and launching a website.
She has many colorful visuals and examples. I kept going back to her eBook and course because they are short sessions that you can easily time block. I found her timelines realistic because she has young children.
I strived for an aesthetic level on my website but there was uncertainty with my writing and website. Before launching my website, I worked with a team on a website featuring over 100 fisheries projects. There were moments I wondered how I could do this alone, but there was a chipper voice in this eBook giving motivation, structure, and guidance.
Your idea or pitch will get rejected. Reading so many success stories can be intimidating. Sometimes the covers of books are people with a fancy car while I was still driving the first car I bought after college. Where are the people that are stumbling through trying to carve out their pathway?
This is what is so intriguing about Jia Jiang’s personal quest of Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection.
Facing what you know and need to learn is a part of having a business. I was transitioning from years of having only 5-10 people with oversight over my writing. Since I had daydreamed about being able to write with more editorial control, I thought I would flourish.
But once I had that power to publish, I found my writing process changed in two ways. First, criticism would not be shared among numerous employees and elected officials. Second, I was scared of rejection when sharing -culture and history. In Jia Jiang’s openness about the barriers he faced for months, you may find a way to face your own.