Another day, another listicle.
Sorrynotsorry because I love when people I like share their creative influences—it widens my horizons and introduces me to many cool new folks.
I’ve been reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, and one of the things he does is share—generously—the people whose work he loves.
It’s been a while since I’ve done that, so here are mine. They’re not just writers; to be a good writer, we need to be interested in everything. Including angry emus. So there’s a lot to discover here.
I’ve organised these creative creatures into loose categories, with a sentence or two about why I love their work, and a link so you can find them.
Austin Kleon: author, artist, doodler, notebooker, sharer of goodies.
If you don’t already have his books Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work and Keep Going, grab them. They’re beautiful little creativity manuals. He has a newsletter on Substack which I love, too.
Rob Walker: journalist, author, and creative bod.
Grab his book The Art of Noticing and dip into it whenever you’re feeling uninspired. It’s full of ideas about how to notice new stuff, and use it to create good work of your own.
Jocelyn Brady: Brain Coach, funny lady, writer, storyteller.
Follow Jocelyn on Instagram and LinkedIn, and pay attention. She thinks and she investigates and she understands brains (as much as anyone can). She’s also really funny. Catch our podcast episode here.
Jay Acunzo: marketer, storyteller, creative bod.
His emails are always insightful and entertaining. Find more about him here.
Hillary Weiss: branding + positioning queen, reels queen, disco queen.
Hillary is my coach and she’s awesome! She’s full of fab ideas, creative solutions to problems, and endless cheerleading. She’s also v funny check her out. Catch our podcast episode here.
James Pogson: poet and narrative storyteller, Black by popular demand.
James has been dubbed LinkedIn’s poet laureate and that’s fair! He’s an incredible writer and poet, and all round Good Man, not afraid to speak truth loudly and proudly. Catch our podcast episode here.
And find James here.
Ann Handley: writer, author, and marketer.
Ann writes a fantastic weekly newsletter, called Total Annarchy, which she stuffs full of marketing tips, stories, and general creative shenanigans.
Find her here.
Margo Aaron: writer, thinker, amazing human.
Margo is one of those writers who makes me melt a little bit. Not just because she writes beautifully (which she does) but because she makes me think differently. And there’s nothing more valuable than that. She’s taking a sabbatical at the moment, but you can find her articles here.
Ash Rathod: storyteller + LinkedIn expert.
Ash’s posts are always worth reading—he knows just how to craft a story that’ll work on LinkedIn. And he’s another all-round Good Chap.
Sean Dietrich: writer at Sean of the South.
Sean delivers a daily email which often moves me to tears. I love his writing. It’s gentle, heartfelt, fascinating, and offers a glimpse into a world I know little about. He has the rare ability to draw you in and enfold you in his world.
Rebekah Borucki: owner at Row House Publishing.
Love her writing, her posts, and her stand for humanity. Plus she founded a wonderful publishing house that lifts up Black and brown authors, voices that matter, and folks who get sidelined by the traditional publishing world.
Jenny Lawson: the Bloggess, hilarious writer and mental illness speaker-upper.
I started following her blog in the earliest days of the internet, thousands of years ago. I have all her books. I often laugh so much I nearly puke.
Authors to read (just a little selection of my faves): Joan Didion, David Sedaris, Roxane Gay, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Octavia Butler, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, NK Jemisin.
Artists, Musicians, + Dancers
Smac: dancer, comedian, hydraulic press enthusiast.
Every time Smac makes a new video, I laugh so much I nearly pee myself. She’s an absolute master of creating something extraordinary from something extremely weird or mundane.
Diane Hill: chinoiserie artist + home decor creator.
Diane makes the most exquisite fabrics, wallpapers, and art. I’m on her email list in anticipation of a time when we’ll be ready to decorate our home, in about 200 years.
Nick Cave: of the Bad Seeds—musician + writer.
I love his music—have since I was a teenager. So I was delighted when I discovered his email newsletter, the Red Hand Files, in which he answers people’s questions on everything and anything. What a great source of inspiration and act of kindness.
Jarvis Cocker: of Pulp—musician + writer.
Another favourite teenage band! I love Jarvis Cocker. He’s talented, funny, smart, and the man responsible for my obsession with velvet jackets. And he’s written a memoir called Good Pop Bad Pop: An inventory. Read it. It’s a treatise on creativity and also a brilliant idea. He cleaned out his loft and used that as a starting point to tell the story of his creative journey.
Heb on the Web: musician who makes funny little songs.
I discovered a woman singing a song about poo mist. About the importance of putting your toilet seat down, and I thought DAMN RIGHT LADY. And I followed her, and was delighted and amused.
Mike Ganino: public speaking.
Mike is fab when it comes to telling stories with your face in real life in front of people. Look out for him on the podcast soon! And follow him here.
Sean D’Souza: writer, cartoonist, marketer.
I’ve been in Sean’s world for many years, and taken many of his courses—and he’s another Fine Human who makes me think differently. He’s also a lovely person.
Przemek Krawczyński: artist at Calabarte
Przemek creates the most exquisite and gorgeous lamps from gourds. Being on his mailing list—which he uses only occasionally—is also a lesson in how to sell extremely expensive luxe items. Really, though, I just love looking at his gorgeous creations. One day, I’ll own one.
New Yorker Magazine: for wonderful writing. You can read a certain number of articles for free, then you have to subscribe. It’s well worth it. Find out more here.
The Atlantic Magazine: ditto. Find out more here.
The Idler: in support of idling, and the ultimate anti-work publication, it’s stuffed full of interesting stories, creative boosts, book reviews, musical explorations, and generalised goodies. Find out more here.
Slightly Foxed magazine and podcast: a literary magazine looking at lost and forgotten books and authors. More here.
Mslexia: a magazine for women who write. Contains essays, short stories, poems, fiction, writing tips, creativity tips, contests and submissions… most excellent. Find out more here.
Other Cool Stuff that Inspires Me
Atlas Obscura: weird things and weird places. More here.
Useless Farm: omg. Violent emus, loving llamas, aggressive cocks. There are no words. Just go here and laugh and laugh.
Trapeze. Pole. Dancing. Roller Skating. Eavesdropping on other people in public places.
Be interested in everyone, everything, everywhere, all at once.
There’s a lot here. Don’t feel you have to follow them all right now. Choose a cuple and dive in.
And I’d love to hear about people who inspire you! Drop a comment below and share.
Psst: did you know you can book a 60 minute session with me to bust any challenges you’re having writing your book? If you’re stuck and would like my help to get going on your book again, click the button below and book a slot.
Notes in the Margin
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