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Think back to when you took the leap from high school or college life into “the real world.” What was that transition like for you?

As you wrap up your educational years and enter the workforce, life tends to get… hectic, to put it gently. Isn’t it so ironic how much we wanted to be “grown” as kids?

Now?? Pssh, I’d give anything to go back to being a kid for just a day. Instead you have legit responsibilities—bills, jobs, families, bills…

As you transition into a life of 24/7 adulting, it’s easy (and natural) to let go of some of the habits you had and activities you participated in when you were younger.

Reading for pleasure is one of those habits that so often fades away – not because the love is gone, but because there seems to be little time for it.

But creatives and entrepreneurs know the power and necessity of reading for growth and inspiration and force themselves to make time for it. Whether reading to unwind, de-stress, inspire, or learn, there are so many benefits to taking in a great book, especially for creatives.

(Plus with audiobooks now being a big thing, there’s no excuse.)

My friends know that I LOVE to read and I often get a lot of requests for new books that I’d recommend. Usually I’ll share an interesting fiction book I’ve read recently, or one of my old faithfuls, like The Alchemist.

But recently, I’ve stumbled across a genre of books that I’m absolutely in love with—inspirational books for creative folks and people who want to be more creative.

And today, I’m sharing this list with you! 

10 inspiring books for creative millennials

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Who Wrote It? Austin Kleon, a creativity expert who speaks for Pixar, Google, TEDx and other awesome organizations

Why It’s a Must-Read? Nothing is created or destroyed – only recycled, repurposed, and repackaged. Steal Like an Artist helps creatives figure out how to embrace these truths and others. Plus, it comes with its own journal, so…there’s that.

Check out this post for the 3 main reasons Steal Like an Artist is a must-read for creative entrepreneurs.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

Who Wrote It? Twyla Tharp, a world-renowned choreographer

Why It’s a Must-Read? Twyla Tharp makes it clear that ANYone has the potential to create art. All it takes is devoting yourself to making creativity a habit – part of your daily routine. She teaches you how to do develop “the creative habit.”

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Who Wrote It? Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love

Why It’s a Must-Read? Big Magic embraces the magic of life and our own potential to create that magic, beyond and in spite of our own fear. She shares how every person in the world is involved in some type of creation and how to embrace that. It’s one of the hottest creativity books out right now.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Who Wrote It? Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios

Why It’s a Must-Read? If there’s one thing Pixar and Disney have done, it’s completely dominate the world of creativity. If you’re interested in building a culture of creativity in your business or your own personal life, you’ll find plenty of gems here.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Who Wrote It? Jonah Berger, professor and expert on consumer behavior

Why It’s a Must-Read? Content means nothing if your target audience doesn’t know it’s there. Jonah Berger lays out the 6 underlying principles that drive contagiousness and virality. Simply put, it’s a creative marketer’s dream.

Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money

Who Wrote It? Pat Flynn, the wildly successful creator of Smart Passive Income

Why It’s a Must-Read? As a creative millennial who may be strapped for time and money, there’s no use in wasting your time and money on ideas that won’t work. This book will help you reflect on your ideas and analyze how good they really are before you jump off the deep end.

Pin me to come back to this post later!

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Who Wrote It?  Ben Horowitz, cofounder of a venture capital firm that’s invested in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Airbnb, and more

Why It’s a Must-Read? Calling all realists! Want an insider’s look into the “hard” parts of running your own business? The Hard Thing About Hard Things is the place to go. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a great book, punctuated by class rap lyrics.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Who Wrote It?  Steven Pressfield, author of a whole bunch of dope books including The Legend of Bagger Vance

Why It’s a Must-Read? On a creative journey, you’ll encounter countless personal and internal struggles. The War of Art helps you identify those struggles so that you can confront them, conquer them, and get out of the way of your own success.

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Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

Who Wrote It?  Tom Kelley, general manager of IDEO, a global design consulting firm

Why It’s a Must-Read? Creative confidence. Couldn’t we all use a dose of that? Centering on the concept that every single person is creative, Creative Confidence blasts the idea that there’s a certain “creative type” of person. Yay for all of us who don’t fit that stereotype!

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: And Other Tough-Love Truths to Make You a Better Writer

Who Wrote It? Steven Pressfield, author of a whole bunch of dope books including The Legend of Bagger Vance and The War of Art

Why It’s a Must-Read? Tough love is right. The titled premise of this book is designed to help place creatives in the shoes of their target audience so that they can better understand and cater to what their audience wants and needs.

have you read any of these books?

what other books would you recommend for creative millennials?