Inspirational Books for Creative Freelancers

Nothing can rekindle your love for what you do like a good, inspiring book.

As a freelancer you have to be creative on-demand. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike.

These books can really help to recharge your creative juices. Even better they can give us an insight into how we can bypass the parts of our brains that prevent us from doing the things that we actually want to do.

If you’ve ever suffered from a lack of creative ideas or writer’s block, these are some great books to have at hand.

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

This book will give you the confidence you need to share your work and process, as well as a strategy to attract your target audience. It’s primarily aimed at creatives, but this creative and fun little book is extremely helpful and inspiring for any freelancer. 

Austin also shares tips on how to document and share your creative process, so you can start to build up trust and position yourself as an expert. You’ll also pick up great storytelling tips to help you share and gain exposure for your work.

If you’ve read Austin’s much recommended first book, How to Steal like an Artist, then you’ll know what to expect, and you should definitely check this one out too.

I think this book works better in physical form than on Kindle too.

Our favourite quote from the book:

Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you

Austin Kleon

Buy your copy here!

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

To take things a little slower, Big Magic is a nice change of pace, offering inspiration and motivation on the challenges we all face as creatives.

Elizabeth Gilbert will give you an alternative perspective on how to deal with your fears as a creator. She also offers some great advice on how to notice and act on ideas, and on taking the stress out of creation. 

The book is an easy, breezy and inspiring read. It can help you reconnect with the ideas and motivations that made you want to go freelance in the first place.

Here’s one of our favourite quotes from the book:

Perfectionism stops people from completing their work – but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work. Perfectionists often decide in advance that the end product is never going to be satisfactory, so they don’t even bother trying to be creative in the first place.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Buy your copy here!

The Power of Self-Confidence by Brian Tracy

Confidence in your own ability and your skills is key for freelancers.

If you’re not confident, you’re going to undersell yourself, miss out on opportunities and fail to live up to your potential.

Fortunately, confidence is a skill like any other and it can be learned!

This book can really help you start to work on this important part of yourself – and the effects can be profound across your business and personal life.

There are some great ideas, and practices to build real confidence and self-esteem, as you prove your abilities to yourself by achieving goals that matter to you.

A popular book to help you build your self confidence with practical exercises and advice.

Don’t get the Audible version of this – it’s badly recorded to the point it’s almost unlistenable.

Buy your copy here!

The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters

Do you ever feel like your own mind is working against you, stopping you taking action, or causing you to react emotionally without considering the consequences?

Most likely you also know the all-too-familiar freelancer problem of imposter syndrome.

This fantastic book makes a simple claim – our rational, human brain is always fighting against a wilder, more emotional chimp brain.

This chimp is geared towards primal survival, and it causes us to react in ways that clash with what the rational, human parts of our mind actually want.

The chimp is strong, but this book teaches you practical ways to ‘manage your chimp’ which can be hugely beneficial in every area of your life.

Buy your copy here!

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

The 5 second rule itself is extremely simple: the moment you have an instinct, a desire to take a certain action, you should count down and do it within 5 seconds.

If you wait longer, your brain will often stop you from taking action as a way to ‘protect’ you. The 5 Second Rule is a really handy psychological weapon that you can use to beat procrastination, and build real confidence.

But why I recommend giving this book a read is because it’s full of inspiring examples of how people from all over the world have used the rule to change their life for better, in any area. Of course, Mel talks about how the rule has helped her overcome the obstacles, and it still does.

What I really love about Mel is that she very openly and honestly talks about her setbacks and doesn’t try to hide when things haven’t gone to plan for her.

She constantly demonstrates how she deals with anxiety, self-doubt and other demons that many of us face, so you know she really practices what she preaches.

You can’t control how you feel, but you can always choose how you act.

Mel Robbins

I recommend listening to this book rather than reading it on Kindle.

You can find more book recommendations for you in the following articles:

Marketing Books Every Freelancer Should Read
Productivity Books For Freelancers: Work Smarter, Not Harder