Next week, I'll be on retreat here: The Vermont Studio Center
(that's not me. that's a picture of some other writer in her studio. nice lamp, huh?)
An entire week in my own writing studio with nothing but me and the revision of Hound Dog True. Its a marvelous opportunity and I'm really looking forward to the quiet and the focus.
I know, however, that I cannot just do that revision all day for each of the seven days I'll be there. I have plans to play with poetry and picture books and to spend a lot of time doodling and planning, too. And it always helps me to set an intention for the week, which I'm working out right now as well.
Here's the request for recommendations: I often find that an inspirational/instructional/meditational book helps me focus that intention and gives me guidance. (It's sort of like mood music, I think). In my past life as a marketer, Seth Godin's books focused me. As a writer Bird by Bird has done it. As has Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit. On the non-writing side I've also found inspiration in the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Steve Martin's autobiography, the letters of E.B. White, and a biography of Mister Rogers.
I'd love to know what books motivate or focus you. They can be craft books, though I'm particularly interested in stuff that is not specifically about writing. Books about focus, joy, getting over fear, stretching, organizing, setting goals, or are examples of real artists at work -- any of those things. Would you take a minute and make a recommendation for me? If I get enough recommendations, I'll make a list of them to share with everyone later in the week.