The ability to learn is our super-power – my favourites of 2019!

Note 1st; Apologies for the lateness of this one, I wrote it and then just needed to finish it off with pics but then Christmas Eve happened and I ended up half the day at hospital as I have a cold, therefore next chemo pushed back a week and lots of drugs to take….but on the plus side I now get to enjoy an extra week of Christmas without feeling pants… all is rosy!  

 A sunny day on Christmas day so I managed to get out for a walk, woohoo!

Now back to the blog…

Since I began my journey with The Curious Creative Club, I knew from the very beginning that I was still very much a novice in this arena with an awful lot to learn. Yes, I practiced my own creative hobbies of writing, photography and art, but so do many others, and by no means does this make me an expert!

Thankfully I’ve always loved to learn, from a very young age. My Mum says that as a child I was exhausting! Not in a physical sense but because I asked hundreds of questions a day.

I simply love learning, and it’s why I seek out nuggets of wisdom everywhere I go, whether that be at a book shop, through a magazine subscription, an art workshop or listening to an enlightening conversation on a podcast.

In the quest to improve my knowledge on all things creative, my curiosity has stepped up a gear; discovering new trends, new ideas and strategies that can help me take The Curious Creative Club forward.

Learning from other more experienced creatives and business people, I know is key to my development and that of this little business venture. Plus, we really have no excuse not to make the most of the age we live in, as a motivational speaker and podcast host of ‘Rise’, Rachel Hollis often comments; The wealth of free courses on the Internet means we are open to so much more, it’s just whether we choose to access that huge resource; if you want to grow, you’d be a fool not to –  I couldn’t agree more!

The wonderful thing about the human mind is the ability to continually learn and with the likes of Google, Alexa (you really can ask that woman anything – I could have really done with her as a child!), social media and more books than ever on the planet, gaining that extra knowledge is seconds away, right at your fingertips, so long as you stay curious.

Of course, the beauty is that you then pass on your knowledge too, sprinkling it with enthusiasm and joy so that the creative community expands even further.

Despite being someone that can flit from one thing to another and get easily distracted, I have tried to absorb what’s out there, more than ever this year.

So, today’s post is a review of the amazing things I’ve listened to, visited and read  that have been useful in giving me creative inspiration and knowledge.

I’ll talk through the books I’ve read and people I follow via podcasts, events (and on social media too – visit The Curious Cave for that part), so that you can also check them out, if you like and see if they resonate with you and could also help support you on your creative journey.

Here are my Top recommendations for each section, with some commentary on my Top 3 selections;

Firstly, Creative / business Books:


Just a few of the great reads that have inspired me this year

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth writes beautifully about creativity and her thoughts on its very existence – you won’t fail to be encouraged to try something new and to be swept up in her enigmatic voice.


Meeting the lovely Sara Tasker at a talk all about her book, Hashtag Authentic

Hashtag Authentic – Sara Tasker

Sara is the first person to write about her experience of Instagram, her story behind her hugely successful account @me_and_orla and shares all the hints and tips she’s learned along the way, a must for anyone starting out with a new Instagram account.


Collecting Conversations – Sam Bunch

This was a surprise read for me based on a recommendation from my local bookshop and I’m glad I listened, part auto-biographical and part intensive research – Sam talks about the key events and issues in women’s lives, through many different age decades, with really interesting and relatable results – great for writing research too!

Other great reads to consider;

Conscious Creativity – Phillipa Stanton

On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King

The Multi-hyphen Method – Emma Gannon

Hegarty on Creativity – John Hegarty

Company of One – Paul Jarvis

The Joy of Watercolour – Emma Block

Reading Books: Because if you are a writer, you also need to read!


The Family Upstairs – Lisa Jewel

A complex intertwining thriller where the house is as much a character as the cast. I loved this book and devoured it on holiday in 3 days, whilst simultaneously ignoring my family, oops! Lisa’s books always deliver on the character’s and the release date always fall in the Summer holidays – the only downside? A year in-between! My favourite author who just gets better and better.

Where the forest meets the stars – Glenda Vanderah

A beautiful story that keeps you guessing and almost believing the child character’s interpretation of the world before reality comes crashing down. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Big Sexy Love – Kirsty Greenwood

A debut, modern-day Bridget-jones type tale with a tragic undertone but some truly laugh out very loud moments! Great comedy timing and strong characters throughout who left you feeling uplifted. I’ll definitely be looking out for Kirsty’s next book.

This is going to hurt – Adam Kay

I have to also comment on Adam’s debut because it was such an amazing book, filled with both humour and heartbreak from the true reality of a junior doctor working un-godly hours in the NHS. You will laugh and cry and forever remember this book!

Other fab reads this year;

The Holiday – T M Logan

Ordinary People – Diana Evans

My name is Leon – Kit De Wal

Also note the last book on this list I discovered thanks to the Clare Mackintosh Book Group on Facebook (Author of I let You Go, Let me Lie etc); a good resource to find your next read and try different styles to the normal genre you go for.

2019 Events / Workshops I’ve been on:

Conversations of Inspiration  – Live at Manchester with Mark Constantine

A truly memorable evening delivered from my favourite podcaster and small business advocate; we had a brilliant evening listening to her interview Mark Constantine of Lush, click here for my full review of that evening.

Sarah Masons Photography Workshop

Here I learned how to use my DSLR camera properly, within a small group in a beautiful barn in Hebden Bridge. Sarah took us through the steps slowly which was good for me and the surroundings provided lots of photo opportunities.

Vision Board Workshop – Yorkshire Writers

Another really interesting event that helped us home in our individual goals that we wanted to focus on for the next 6 months. For a more in-depth review on this, click here.

Other workshops that inspire my creativity;

Acrylic Painting Workshop at Art Group

Weekly Creative Writing group

My favourite Podcasts this year


Conversations of Inspiration – Holly Tucker

You just can’t fail to be inspired by Holly’s in-depth interviews of people who have started from nothing, sometimes struggled but then have forged their path into hugely successful businesses! Holly is so warm and is a true small-business advocate who genuinely cares and lends her advice regularly whilst remaining humble about her own success, and that is why I’m drawn to her style and strength. To get an overview of her year of interviews, check out her 2 Christmas specials out now, full of wisdom from her lovely guests.

Fearne Cotton – Happy Place

Equally as genuine as Holly above and doesn’t shy away from the deeper complexities of life such as struggles with mental health, addiction etc that some of her guests have been through. There is always something to take away and learn from this podcast!

Creatively Human – Ruth Poundwhite

Another inspirational woman who tells it like it is, but also has the courage to adapt to changing situations, she’s not afraid of a challenge! Ruth has a quiet determination about where she feels she wants to be and she takes you along the ride with her whilst talking about unique ways of working, for example if you are more of an introvert like her. I find her podcasts truly fascinating and come away thinking deeper about my little venture and where I want to take it!

Other amazing podcasts I’ve listened to this year:

Dreaming and Doing – Nicky Raby

Elevate your curiosity – Joanne Griffin

Dream and Do – Nicola Rae Wickham

Letters from a hopeful creative – Sara Tasker and Jen Carrington

Rise – Rachel Hollis

So, I hope this has been helpful to see just a glimpse of what is out there and of course there are more listed on my resource page – The Curious Cave.

I believe as much as the doing is important, so is the learning and researching, for example if you want to be a writer, it makes sense to read as much as possible – evaluate other’s author’s styles and see what appeals to you. If you want to share beautiful images on Instagram, then look at other’s accounts, see what works, but also understand how you can be different and use your own style and voice to stand out.

As I’ve said many times before I want this to be a sharing space too, so if you have examples of great podcasters you listen to or a book that really spoke to you this year on a creative level, then please don’t be shy and share in the comments below for us all to benefit!

And finally, this is the last Blog post of this year!! So, thank you for following along and keeping me company, I really appreciate all your support and comments.

I wish you all a lovely Christmas time, spending it with your loved ones and come New Year I hope we’ll all be raring to go once again!

I’ll be sharing my list of new intentions for 2020 (I love this time of the year for that – that re-fresh feeling) and where I want to take The Curious Creative Club over the next 12 months.

After a uniquely crazy, up and down 2019, I’m looking forward to delving into a new decade and the year that I’m focusing on getting fully well and back to my best, fingers crossed!

Happy New Year to you all!

Until next time….

Juliet, The Curious Creative x

One Comment on “The ability to learn is our super-power – my favourites of 2019!

  1. Lovely reflective blog, I’m looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2020 xxx


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