Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Brand New You by Room of Fulfilled Dreams
The Zen Habits Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness by Leo Babauta
Self-Care Workbook by Solange van Dijk
Time Management for Creative People by Mark McGuinness
Creative Problem-Solving: Overcoming Functional Fixedness by Colorado College
Convinced the odds of being struck with a superpowered surge of sudden creativity are worse than being straight-up struck by lightning.
Convinced you would rather be straight-up struck by lightning than deal with this whole being a creative thing.
This is your chance to breathe past that feeling.
No one’s watching. It’s ok.
Seriously! Breathe in! We pinky swear promise, there is no one watching you here. Our private comments and bookshelves mean you control who sees your scribbles on these creative workbooks. Write a little, write a lot, or don’t write at all.
However you process them, these 7 ebooks on creativity will do as much to get you out of your head and back onto the page (whether it’s a sketchbook or spreadsheet) as any lightning rod could. Just leave the umbrella at home.
Working through Steal Like an Artist feels familiar—comforting—in the best ways. Kleon’s slightly chaotic illustrations, blunt tone, and straightforward writing make this book a quick read that’s easy to jump into. Chapters are understandable at a glance. It’s leagues beyond derivative, more like the archetype you were always meant to find your way back to.
In fact, you’ve probably heard some of this book’s lessons paraphrased a few times over:
Ring any bells?
What Steal Like an Artist lacks in explicit how-to, it makes up for with practical, down-to-earth advice for reshaping your mindset. When you’re struggling with impostor syndrome and trying to recenter yourself, or just need a fresh dose of “how to look at the world and see creative opportunity,” this is the book to do it.
Want to follow a fresh line of thought? Break out of a rut? Kick creative block’s butt?
Read outside your wheelhouse. It helps fire off different parts of your brain so you can think through creative problems in new, unexpected ways. You might try reading sci-fi, or poetry, or even playing a narrative tarot game like this one.
Anamnesis, meaning a remembrance of the past, or, the recollection of innate knowledge from a previous existence, isn’t really a book or even a journal. It’s a guided interactive experience where participation is fully required.
You’ll draw cards as you go, moving through open-ended prompts. The questions it asks of you are rooted in honesty and reflection. There’s a lot to be gleaned if you’re willing to stay open and be surprised by the answers you find.
When we acknowledge that creativity thrives on constraint, and artistic rules are our friends, it’s actually freeing. It allows us to let go of thought patterns we’re trapped in. It offers a quick way to embrace creativity. Instead of thinking outside the box, we figure out how to make the box work for us.
Anamnesis is one unique framework to get you to that mental place.
So “when you are ready, take a deep breath and wake up.”
Wildly stylish cliff notes from an international training course on personal branding. What could be better? Brand New You offers 7 exercises—from journal prompts to Mad Libs style fill-in-the-blank to more classic think-and-reflect questionnaires—to help you work through the steps in your own creative branding pyramid.
The original organizers of the training course, Room of Fulfilled Dreams, wanted to introduce young creatives to the power of a distinct, marketable brand. As you follow along, try to do more than answer. Try to capture the unique voice, style, or outlook which is part of what sets you apart from your peers.
This is a book that asks you to not only focus on your own goals, but to take a look at what your audience has in mind, too. Understand them and you will understand new ways to move forward yourself.
What’s important about this book is its focus on dealing with feelings in productive ways—just as art itself might help us do.
We don’t know about you, but for us, emotions have a real impact on how and what we create. (Creative block, anyone? Fear of not being good enough? Not making enough progress?)
If you’ve had prior experience with meditation, you know it can be difficult and frustrating. Yet there isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t have to work through difficult and frustrating things every day.
By teaching how to:
this Beginner’s Guide can actually help you learn how to be a more open, resilient, fearless creator.
Ever battled burnout? Generally felt mental and physical exhaustion, creative depletion? Maybe some sort of existential doom about your future as a creator? Or maybe you just want to recommit to rest and recharge.
Either way, creative work can take a lot out of you. Take time to refill your cup before there’s nothing left to pour from it.
That’s where a self-care guide like this one really steps up. This is an outside reminder, a permission slip, a written accountability buddy, to slow down, remember, and listen to your own needs at least from time to time.
Let’s leave the tortured, unwell artist stereotype behind. A happier, more fulfilled individual has better capacity and more energy to do their best work. And we know you’re ready to do your best.
Heads up. This book says: actually don’t get up at 5 AM and squirrel away in your attic in order to create. Not if you’re most productive at night and prefer new spaces to focus your mind.
Actually don’t try to force yourself into entirely new habits and ways of being. Pursuit of some generalized ideal instead of finding what works for you is how people get frustrated and give up before they’ve begun.
Mark McGuinness’s Time Management for Creative People offers the frameworks and methodologies you can use to kick your butt into high gear. But he isn’t interested in blanket statements of, “Here’s how I do it and this is what you need to do, too.”
He offers his own, and other famous, examples before showing us the options and letting us make our own way.
This book says: see how prioritization is normally organized. But know that this is how other creators actually organized their priorities. There’s no one true path. So ask yourself these questions to figure out what endeavors take priority for you. Ask yourself when, where, and how you’ve previously accomplished the most to figure out how you can accomplish more again in the future.
The Creative Problem-Solving practice book is a logical, repeatable approach to forcing creative thinking. It posits the question: How can we reimagine common items we’re all familiar with? How can you defamiliarize it?
Flexible thinking empowers creativity, so why not stretch that muscle from time to time? This is a relatively fast read (especially once you’re familiar with the introductory concepts), but the thought exercise is one you could probably spend a couple hours mulling over. What’s especially great about this piece is its broad application.
You might solve this problem in any number of ways, and you can map your answers with almost any medium — written descriptions to sketches to 3D models. And depending on which object you choose to investigate, the practice can be as simple or difficult as you’d like to make it.
nonfik is a cross-industry freebie library for professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs. Our curated ebooks are written and shared by experts and made better for everyone with public, collaborative notes and feedback.
We’re building a community where everyone can learn, grow, and contribute. Discover and explore new perspectives. An interactive reading platform to make sense of the world together.
If you'd like to learn more about what we're trying to build you can check out our public roadmap or learn more about why we're building this.
Bookmarks are our stand in for stars. We score every free ebook on a scale of zero to five bookmarks.
Unlike most other star rating systems, we don't arbitrarily skew up. Free ebooks with five bookmarks are rare and three bookmarks is a decent, respectable score.
When assigning a free ebook an overall bookmark score, we look at the three breakdown scores (value, readability, actionability), as well as a few other factors. Value tells you whether an ebook's worth the time it takes to read it. Readability is an assessment of how easy it is to navigate and skim. And, at the risk of sounding obvious, actionability is how practical a book’s advice is (we especially love how-tos and fill-in-the-blank worksheets).
The nonfik library is mostly comprised of free resources for professional development: ebooks, how-to guides, and playbooks on leadership and productivity, sales and marketing, product and project management. We have other books for the more creative entrepreneur, including these workbooks, and we’re always open to a variety of submissions.
Please use this form.
Currently, nonfik is 100% free to use for both readers and authors. We want to see if we can add value with this app and community before worrying about monetization.
Hey, we love what you’ve made! As we said, we aren’t making any profit off your work — just sharing it with our readers and a wider audience in search of creative guidance. We’re always looking for new authors and publishers to strike up a formal partnership with. Please reach out if you’re interested in learning more or would like your book removed from nonfik.
Learn more about the people and ideology behind nonfik on our manifesto page.
Our lead designer doesn't like the look of some uppercase letters. Form doesn't always follow function, ya know.
Are you a SaaS publisher or marketer? We'll handle the distribution of your ebooks so you can focus on creating delightful contentpublish on nonfik