It’s summer time and my schedule is a little more relaxed because I don’t have to drive my kids back and forth to school. I’ve tried loading books onto my Kindle app on my phone so I can do a little more intentional reading rather than scrolling. It’s working. I am reading more books. As a freelance copywriter, I am always looking for more insights on how to run a creative business.
Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad
by Austin Kleon
I have been a huge fan of Austin Kleon before he wrote his book Steal Like an Artist, which was a study on how creativity works. The second book Show Your Work revealed how to get discovered in the digital age. (Hint: make your own path.) Now Austin addresses how to keep on creating new creative work. Keep Going is the creativity mid-life crisis antidote. Nope, it doesn’t get easier.
Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business
by Paul Jarvis
Paul is a graphic designer, web designer, course creator who made a name creating courses on how to work with MailChimp back in the day. He’s a smart business guy. (Check out his business templates for designers too at Project Prescription.) The premise of his book: what if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale up a new business, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? This book takes the solo practitioner beyond trading time for money and discusses creating digital products. While I enjoyed this book, I wish Paul could have used examples of people not on the marketing/tech/entrepreneur podcast circuit.
Feck Perfuction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life
by James Victore
James writes about finding your voice, dealing with your fears, and finding your purpose and creating a creative and happy life. James has covered a lot of these ideas. (I always send students to his Burning Questions series on YouTube. Now he’s moved to a Patreon page.) Do yourself a favor and get the print book: the designs lose impact in the Kindle version.
Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It
by Mike Monteiro
Mike is the founder of Mule design. I saw him a couple of years ago at the AIGA National Conference, and he spoke on the subject of the responsibility of designers to be responsible for the products they design. We’re not just working on "just an app" anymore—we're working on tools that shift the face of our healthcare, political system, and home privacy. Mike has powerful opinions—you can read a chapter on Medium here.
The Three Musketeers
by Alexander Dumas
This trilogy has been a favorite since high school, and I reread it every ten years or so. The books are so much better in the movies because you witness the depth of their friendships. As more movie, I prefer the 1974 version vs. the one in the nineties with the Brian Adams/Sting/Rod Steward theme song.
I am on a surfing hiatus. The kids have been off a couple of weeks already, and the water is getting warmer, but I still haven't made the switch to a spring suit yet. I've tweaked my shoulders, so I am doing physical therapy every day and taking a break from surfing. It’s a boogie boarding summer! Using a Morey Boogie, circa 1978. I paid $29 in 1979 for a Morey board from Price Club. Boogie boards are still $29 at Costco now. But they barely last two seasons, let alone four decades.
I hope you get a chance to enjoy a little of the summer. What’s on your reading list?