Hello 2017! This is not a resolution…

A creative reading list for 2017: starting points

I’m really excited to share my creative reading list for 2017 with you. I’ve been working on this list in the quiet moments since Christmas and can’t wait to get started on it. The first thing to observe is that these kind of books seem to have MASSIVE titles..!

You can read more below about my reasons for embarking on this effort – well the reasons aside from the obvious, that I love to read, and love craft books – it’s all about pressing the reset button for me this January.

I had a thought of setting up a small closed Facebook group for people who are interested in sharing books and thoughts about reading on topics of creativity, stitching, textiles and personal development/mental health. If it’s an idea that appeals, do let me know, no worries if not!

So here are the books that appealed on my browsing round Goodreads – do you use Goodreads? It’s a fabulous app/website if you are a reader – do feel free to friend me if you are a user.



So here’s a bit more about why..

Early last year, after the death of David Bowie, I scribbled down a few thoughts about the way he lived his life and the way that his creativity resonated with me. Here’s the list I made back then.

Learning from Bowie

When I wrote that, right at the beginning of the year, I knew I wanted to take these intentions forward with me into 2016, and in some ways I did – they certainly bubbled away under the surface throughout the year.

Back in the spring, I took the risk (see point 3!) of paying a monthly rent for a workroom of my own (I may have mentioned this a few times ;-)). This step was definitely about the practicalities of having the quiet, the space and the light that isn’t available at home, but more importantly, it was about taking myself seriously as a creative person. I also decided to stop selling Liberty lawn too, for the same reasons – I was so keen to free up more time to devote to ideas and developing my craft. I don’t regret either of those steps for a second – it has been fantastic to be surrounded by other people making fabulous work, talking about collaborations, art & craft markets, exhibitions and being excited to be part of the resurgence of our city.

But taking on the responsibility of finding my rent and whilst still paying myself a wage, with no income from the fabric selling, has been hard, and there’s been very little time for learning, being curious, exploring, moving forward. Sometimes I’ve been too busy with commission work to take part in my own swaps, which doesn’t feel right at all.

So, here we are at the start of 2017, and I am going for it again… And I’m going to start by really getting back to the roots of my creativity – what works for me, what doesn’t, different ways of working, things I want to learn, things I want to do, developing goals, being authentic, being playful and moving forward. I’m also going to work more on my research into the relationship between craft and mental health (which if you are a regular reader, you’ll know I’ve written about a bit before). I’m sharing this intention with you all because I really want to put in the work, but will no doubt suffer crises of confidence (my inner committee is already telling me this is a stupid idea…) and boredom (my honey bee mind wanting to move along to the next flower) along the way, so need to be held to virtual account!

Oh yes, and if  you have recommendations to add to my eclectic list, or if you’re interested in chatting on Facebook in a little reading group (see above) do get in touch. Here’s to my making 2017 a year of following my curious creative whims.

20 thoughts on “Hello 2017! This is not a resolution…

  1. Thank you for putting these books out – I went to my library and asked for books on creativity and wellbeing / mental health and it wasn’t very fruitful…so a huge thank you! Just starting out on WordPress, as a creative nonprofit, so hungry for resources like this.

    Your comments about your Inner Committee and Honey Bee Mind also ring very true – glad I found your blog and look forward to reading more.

  2. I like the idea of a reading group. I have a couple of the books on your list in my personal library (The Art of Manipulating Fabric). I will always be interested in mental health (I’m a retired child psychiatrist ) I hadn’t used Good Reads, though was by chance on it earlier today while searching for a book. I’d be happy to use it more. I appreciate your non-resolutions; we are often too hard on ourselves . Best wishes for 2017. Anne

  3. The books in your list look so interesting. I’ve eyed a few of them before. I think the relation between craft and art and good mental health is a good subject. I know that I need to be creative, not just want to be. I’m looking forward to following along with you this year and cheering you on when you need it 😜

    1. It’s not quite set up yet – I will do a proper announcement when it’s ready to go. I am wondering about using Goodreads.com as a good place to host it (as some people – and I don’t blame them – are Facebook avoidant). So glad you enjoyed the post, I really enjoyed writing it. 🙂

  4. Hi Ali, your reading group sounds like an interesting idea. You’ve probably seen the link, but you can set up a group on goodreads. I really like your ‘not a resolution’ and the ideas behind it. Keep up the fab work!

    1. Happy new year to you too! So glad you like the list. Love to hear how you get on if you get round to reading some similar books – or if you have some recommendations later on in the year.

  5. Happy New Year, Ali! I’ve added you as a Goodreads friend, I hope you don’t mind 🙂 Big Magic is a great book! I really enjoyed listening to it, it’s narrated by the author and I can still remember what I was working on whilst she was telling me all about creativity…

    1. Happy new year Leonor! Delighted to be your Goodreads friend. Big Magic was my first book of the New Year and I have finished it already, so it must be good! A very interesting approach and encouraging. I really like her insistence that it is important to Keep Turning Up!

  6. An interesting post, Ali, particularly so for me because of what’s going on in my head at the moment. I have realised that, for the time being at least, I cannot commit to anything. I really hope you manage to push forward towards your goals for 2017. 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed the read and found it interesting. Makes total sense to me that you want to keep away from commitments just now – that’s a lesson that I have had to learn now and again. Thanks for the good wishes, and all the best to you in 2017. xx

  7. Facebook Group is an excellent idea. I’m a bit of a bookaholic – sadly I read about crafting more than practice it but I’m going to make more time for it this year as creativity is important to wellbeing.

    1. Glad you like the idea of the group Amanda. I am thinking of hosting it on Goodreads.com to help out the people who (understandably) aren’t keen on Facebook. Will keep you posted in case you want to join in.

  8. Happy New Year Ali! I think your resolve is wonderful and I’m so interested in crafts and mental health – in part due to the fact that my dad is a professor of mental health. Would love to chat about it some time! Wishing you a happy and creative 2017 xxx

  9. Hi Ali Happy New Year and thank you for a wonderful post, I always enjoy your blog. I was in Stoke over the new year and thinking about you – you have made a tremendous leap this year and have inspired many people including me. I would be interested in a group but unfortunately do not use Facebook for various reasons- however if you are setting anything up in another medium I would love to join. I am hoping that one day you might do some workshops which would be fabulous. Have a great week Ali and thanks xx🙋🏻

We always love reading your comments... go ahead, say hello!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s