What To Read Before You Even THINK About Making New Year’s Goals

By Kerri Jarema

We might not have gotten through Christmas yet, but I'm already in that super-reflective headspace that most people usually reserve for Jan. 1. Maybe its my practical Capricorn nature, or just the fact that my birthday comes so soon after the New Year, but I tend to spend most of the lead-up to the holidays with myself and my thoughts, figuring out what I want to keep, what I want to add, and what I want to lose from my life in the next 12 months.

If you're anything like me, you're probably thinking about your creative pursuits right now. Some of the question you're asking are specific: "Did I write that first draft I planned to pen last January?" or "Did I pursue the career change I've been dreaming of?" Some are probably much more abstract, general questions about what you want to create and put out into the world in 2019. So, you're going to need some books to help you along on the journey, right? Whether you're more into non-fiction with real tips about living a creative life or novels that will immerse you in the creative processes of others, these are the 2018 books you need to read before 2019:

'The Poet X' by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo's passionate tale of one girl's discovery of spoken word poetry will remind you of the transformative power of creative pursuits.

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'No Mistakes: A Workbook For Imperfect Artists' by Keiko Agena

Creative people everywhere will love Keiko Agena's workbook, which is all about giving yourself permission to work on new projects with passionate abandon.

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'Final Draft' by Riley Redgate

Writing is never easy, and Final Draft delves fully into the darker side of a creative life. Ultimately, however, it's a hopeful reminder that words, imagination and creativity can change the world.

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'The Curse Of The Boyfriend Sweater' by Alanna Okun

If you've been putting off that knitting project or want to finally get into embroidery in 2019, Okun's essays on how crafting has shaped both her creative and personal lives will have you crocheting in no time.

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'The Ensemble' by Aja Gabel

Aja Gabel's high-stakes story of a string-quartet desperate to make it in the cutthroat world of music is a beautiful treatise on the price we pay for our creative passions and the many ways that can change who we are.

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'Almost Everything: Notes on Hope' by Anne Lamott

It takes a lot of hope to put your all into your creative pursuits, and hope can sure be hard to come by. Lamott indulges her familiar sarcastic-meets-sweet voice to give you a few reasons to get out of bed... and pick up a pen, a canvas, or an instrument.

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'Am I There Yet?' By Mari Andrew

We can all get caught up in comparing our creative goals to others, and if you want to leave that in 2018, Andrews' book is a beautiful reminder that your path is going to be one big zig-zagging loop-de-loop... and that's totally OK.

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'Song Of A Captive Bird' by Jasmin Darznik

If Jasmine Darzik's moving fictionalized account of the life of trailblazing Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad isn't enough to inspire you to make your unique voice heard through whatever creative medium you choose, I don't know what will.

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'Heart Talk' by Cleo Wade

Sometimes all you need to get the creative juices flowing is one really great quote, a stanza of beautiful poetry, or a motivational mantra. Cleo Wade's book has all of the above.

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'Brave, Not Perfect' by Reshma Saujani

The biggest obstacle in my creative life is fear. Reshman Saujani's book all about breaking down fear so that you can make bolder choices in your work and life, in 2019 and beyond.

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