Art, Books, Career, Crafts, Education, Family, Gift Ideas, Mental Health, Reading, Reviews

Big Magic for Creators, Efficient Personal Development, & Last Minute Digital Gifts for Book Lovers

If you have ever struggled with finding inspiration, or keeping, it this book will change your life! I don’t like to make promises because people are different, and it’s hard to please everyone, but I feel like all creatives can benefit from the wisdom in this book. Whether you actually read it, or listen…

(Digital Gift Ideas are towards the end of this post, so scroll down if you don’t want to read my thoughts about learning new skills in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible.)

This book was the inspiration to write this blog post about staying creative and strengthening your relationship with creativity. If you know someone, or are someone, who has lost their creative inspiration this post is for you.

Super Efficient Personal Development

While I truly love to read, I just don’t get (or make) the time that I’d like to read these days. I tend to try and find audiobook versions of my must read books and I recommend this to all my busy friends because it will make doing dishes and other mindless tasks much more enjoyable and seem a lot quicker.

My “day job” is making tiny electrical components. It’s very similar to crafting but it pays a lot more per product, though it’s not as much fun as crafting because the goal is to make everything exactly the same. Some of the pieces go in jets or run big high powered machines so consistency keeps the quality very high, but it can be incredibly boring to do the exact piece over and over for hundreds or thousands of parts.

The audio books I borrowed through the Overdraft app this week to keep me sane while working, doing chores, and making Christmas crafts.

Audiobooks have made my job more fun and allowed me to make a bazillion more parts then I could have ever done without my brain being entertained. I’ve done this job for years and being a personal development junky I have learned how to do a million and one different skills.

Other co-workers chose to listen to all the crime and punishment podcasts (which I did also) but they didn’t add much educational content to their work day.

I’m not judging, they have full lives with other opportunities and everyone’s interests are different. All I am saying is that I learned how to run a website, and how to social media market, while working a 40 hour a week job.

Now I am trying to baby step away from the full-time day job, and working on making my website my full-time work. How many other people do you know that learned how to do an un-related skill during the same hours they were doing their day job?

I was still able to do an impressive job at work while learning how to be a future mogul! Well future mogul is my goal anyway. The idea for learning about making money online was born out of necessity.

I wanted to be present with my family, I have bills to pay, and my school loans will make you want to hide under your covers.

I could spend the next 100 years paying off the school loans, take a high paying job that will own me, or I can learn the skills to run my own successful business.

Obviously I decided to learn to run my own business but to save time I learned as many skills as I could by listening to audiobooks during work and chores.

There are lots of free development books at your local library but they don’t always have what you are looking for.

While you can absolutely use an Audible or Kindle membership to get the audio and digital books you want for entertainment alone, it’s easier to justify the cost of a monthly subscription payment if it’s helping educate you as well as providing entertainment.

BELIEVE ME, I KNOW HOW AGONIZING IT CAN BE TO SPEND MONEY ON ANYTHING THAT IS NOT AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY!

Now if you don’t have those extra funds to spend on yourself but you still want to learn new skills I can help get you started for free.

It starts with your public library! Don’t shut me out for sounding like a crazy person yet. I love going to the library.

Before corona, the kids and I would go to the library regularly for activities, to borrow books and movies, and to donate old books and purchase inexpensive used books at the bookstore the library runs as a fundraiser.


FREE: The Public Library Game Changer

If you have a library card did you know that you can get digital books and audiobooks on an App called Overdrive?!

I love using the Overdrive app to borrow and download digital books and audiobooks from my local library.

In Pennsylvania, if you have a library card at any PA library you can also apply for a free Philadelphia library card online!

You may find 1 library plenty but I love having a city library card too because they tend to have a lot more books available than our local library. I know the audiobook selection for the Phili library is pretty impressive!

We definitely need to spread the word about digital books and audiobooks being available for free with a library card.

I plan to write a post and tutorial at some point but wanted to add it in here to try and help some people now too.


Other Free Resources

Librivox is an app with some free audiobooks available, no need for a library card, but I found the quality hit and miss.

I also didn’t love that Librivox has different readers for different chapters. Sometimes this was a good thing and sometimes it was a bad thing.

Another amazing free resource is the Google podcast app.

There are some wonderful personal development podcasts and some super fun entertainment podcasts too!

I won’t make this post any longer by adding a list of my favorite podcasts. Suffice to say I really enjoy podcasts and if you haven’t started listening to any, what are you waiting for?!


My Shortened Book Review for Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is fantastic and I could talk about so many specific things that I loved in the book, but I want to post this before Christmas.

What I will say is that this book is both funny and provides so much perspective on creativity in general.

It addresses personal relationships with creativity, how to be friends with our creative “spirit guides”, why it’s so important to give time to our creativity, and how to hold it in a space that is serious but not too serious.

This book is funny, and smart, and while I already had a lot of the same perspectives when it came to art and creativity, this book still had a lot to teach me.

Seriously, get this book for the creative in your life! It’s especially important for those people who struggle with their creativity.

We all know fantastic artists that never show their work and are overly critical. Or the “former artist” who lost motivation or confidence and just doesn’t make time for creativity anymore.

It has always been a big priority of mine to keep life fun and keep my child-like curiosity alive. I can’t even tell you why this has been so important to me. What I can tell you is that every time I don’t make space for creativity in my life, I feel like I am being crushed, suffocated, and I just fall apart.

While I also feel the need to be a productive adult in my life, I must always always always make time for my creative spirit.

My heart bleeds for the people who didn’t realize the connection between happiness and creativity, especially if they are then struggling with depression and anxiety.

My hearts hurts for others that have a complicated relationship with their creativity. People who lose their joy and feel lost and unfulfilled in their artistic practice.

This is an amazing book for those looking to understand creativity better and discover new perspectives, create new spaces, and enjoy their creativity and life to the fullest.

I am a super-duper Elizabeth Gilbert fan now. While her book Eat, Pray, Love is the book that made her career, and I am curious, I am afraid to read it now because I just lost my mom. I was told that she had just lost her mom before the journey the book is about.

I’m not sure if the description I got is true but I’m afraid Eat, Pray, Love’s subject matter will hurt too much at the moment. So I put in on my TBR (to be read) list. I’m sure I will feel brave enough to read/listen to it soon, but for now I just want to thank her for writing the incredible book Big Magic.

I also want to mention that Elizabeth Gilbert is an amazing story-teller and her audiobook, read by her, is phenomenal. I highly recommend this book in whatever version best suits you. If you can’t get it now, definitely save this to your TBR lists to be read soon!


Click here to purchase this book on Amazon available on kindle, as an audiobook, or in paperback.

Digital Gift Ideas for Book Lovers & More

So now that I have given you an idea or 2 on how to fit reading back into your life, or the lives of your loved ones. I’m going to share some links to some fun giftable digital products that are great for those looking for entertainment, educational, or personal development resources.

Audible – Audiobooks

Buy Audible for yourself here https://amzn.to/34GVC1d

or

Purchase Audible as a gift here https://amzn.to/38y0pTN

(Audible is the least expensive giftable Amazon digital product at the time of this post)

Kindle – Digital Books

Buy Kindle for yourself here https://amzn.to/37MP4jx

or

Purchase Kindle as a gift here https://amzn.to/2WFZs6l

Amazon Prime

Prime Sign Up

It’s cheaper than you think to buy the gift of 3 months of Amazon Prime https://amzn.to/34EtHyD and this gift gives you access to the free shipping, TV shows, movies, and music!

Amazon Digital Gift Card

Get digital gift cards that you can send by email here https://amzn.to/3pl3htR

Did you know you can send to up to 999 digital gift cards with a personalized email at once! Or you can send 1 at a time through text message LOL.


Wrap Up

I hope you all got a lot out of this blog post today. Sharing love and friendship by sharing a book, movie, or music is so easy these days with digital. Anywho, I hope your holidays are cheerful and fun, and that you and yours stay healthy and well!

Thanks so much for reading with me today!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Kat @ CraftingGlow

I took a screenshot of the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert that I borrowed from my local library through the Overdrive app.

If you don’t like library waiting lists check out Amazon for a list of purchase options!

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