Until recently, there were 2 things I felt inspired by and loved to do: take photographs and read. Now, I can also add: make art!

This page is about where I find inspiration by reading. If you want to read about my photography practice, you can go to the Journey Into Photography page. For art inspiration, I don’t have a collection yet, but you can look under the Creativity Category on the home page.

I. Love. To. Read.

And have done since I was a young teen. I remember working my way through some series or other when I should have been studying for exams. I always claim that my reading helped me to do well in my English Lit papers!

Postdoctoral pleasures

After I finished my doctorate, I read novels voraciously, as I hadn’t had time to read for pleasure for 4 years because the thought of reading, even for pleasure made me crazy. Since then I have been happily working my way through piles of novels on my Kindle (a recent purchase) and magazines.

Now, I love nothing more than retreating to a cosy bed with my two cats to read a selection of magazines on my phone, mostly on photography, interspersed with a spot of home and garden decor …

Although I am trying to save money and stop buying magazines, I have bought annual subscriptions to my favourite ones (that’s cheaper right?) in digital format. I’m not a fan of piles of old magazines, so digital is a good option for me. One thing I like about reading magazines is that you can dip in and out of them without losing the plot. One thing I had to work out how to do, was how to tear out a page or picture that I want to keep. I realised that is what bookmarks and screen captures are for!

“Your mind is your library of what you read.”
(Lailah Gifty Akita)

Does that mean that my mind is a library of photography and lifestyle magazines? Perhaps, but I don’t mind, as I am happy to be making space in my ‘library’ for genres other than academic journals and conference papers! Often my reading inspires me to do something creative but sadly I don’t always carry it through. Aaah, all I need is some time to do it all …

What I’ve read recently

Debbie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Print or digital?

I love the smell and feel of real books and I love to add sticky notes and underline passages in my favourite colour pens until my books become “well-loved”… But that happens less with fiction books, which I do read on my Kindle, especially when I am travelling.

For me, both work well, and I don’t need to stress about making an either-or choice. It is possible to have the best of both worlds!

Inspirational books

Obviously, I still continue to read for my academic work, but now thank goodness, I can also do more reading for pleasure and for inspiration. And I’ve re-discovered so many books that went untouched during the studying years.

My most loved books are in print form, dog-eared, scribbled in, full of sticky notes and, can usually be found stacked in a messy pile next to my bed. These are the ones that give me inspiration. The ones that fill my empty tank and replenish my soul. The ones that give me food for thought.

Finding inspiration in the pages of a book

I often refer to other authors and books in my blog posts. These are the ones that I have referenced to date, with my most recent favourites at the top of the list! No doubt I will get around to sharing why they are inspirational at some point in the future.

  1. Philippa Stanton: Conscious Creativity and Conscious Creativity Workbook
  2. Austin Kleon: Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work! and Keep Going
  3. Brené Brown: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are and Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead
  4. Scott M. Peck: The Road Less Travelled
  5. Shonda Rhimes: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
  6. Anne Wilson Schaef: Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much (Revised edition) and Living in Process: Basic Truths for Living the Path of the Soul
  7. Julia Cameron: The Artists Way
  8. Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear; Eat Pray Love
  9. Brenda Ueland: If you want to write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
  10. Michelle Chalfant: The Adult Chair
  11. Saran Ban Breathnach: Simple Abundance; Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self
  12. Tania Kindersley and Sarah Vine: Backwards in High Heels – The Impossible Art of Being Female
  13. Ann Wilson: The Wealth Chef: Recipes to Make Your Money Work Hard, So You Don’t Have To
  14. Sarah McDonald: Holy Cow An Indian Adventure
  15. Doreen Virtue: Daily Guidance from your Angels

Posts about inspiration

Occasionally, I write about being inspired and where I find inspiration. I constantly wonder where it comes from and why.

One thought on “Inspiration

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