Kathleen (Leena) Hurrell, an instructor in our Independent Artist Program, shares some books that every songwriter should have on their bookshelf. They might not be directly about songwriting, but they can inspire your next greatest work.


When it comes to songwriting, honing your lyric writing and musical composition skills are high priority, but there’s an often-missed, absolutely CRUCIAL skill that takes precedence: quieting our inner critic and allowing ourselves to freely create. I’ve put together a list of three amazing books by three generous women that will help you skill-up on allowing inspiration to flow through you with more ease, practicing self-compassion, leaning into your authentic self, and cultivating joy in your writing process.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process – and showing us all just how easy it can be.

By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.”

– Amazon

The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brené Brown

“Brené Brown’s game-changing New York Times bestseller, The Gifts of Imperfection, has sold more than 2 million copies in more than 30 different languages and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in print. Forbes magazine named Gifts one of the “Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life.” Through this self-help classic we find courage to overcome paralyzing fear and self-consciousness, strengthening our connection to the world and helping us to believe we are worthy of self-discovery, personal growth, and boundless love.

A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling. With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an “imperfect” life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s “ten guideposts”  are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty—a perfectly imperfect life.

Now more than ever, we all need to cultivate feelings of self-worth, as well as acceptance and love for ourselves. In a world where insults, criticisms, and fears are spread too generously alongside messages of unrealistic beauty, attainment, and expectation, we look for ways to “dig deep” and find truth and gratitude in our lives. A new way forward means we can’t hold on too tightly to our own self-defeating thoughts or the displaced pain in our world. Instead, we can embrace the imperfection.”

– Amazon

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

‘Julia Cameron invented the way people renovate the creative soul’ – New York Times

“Since its first publication, The Artist’s Way has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert, Tim Ferriss, and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron guides readers in uncovering problems and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to free up any areas where they might be stuck, opening up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery.

The program begins with Cameron’s most vital tools for creative recovery – The Morning Pages, a daily writing ritual of three pages of stream-of-consciousness, and The Artist Date, a dedicated block of time to nurture your inner artist. From there, she shares hundreds of exercises, activities, and prompts to help readers thoroughly explore each chapter. She also offers guidance on starting a ‘Creative Cluster’ of fellow artists who will support you in your creative endeavours.

A revolutionary program for personal renewal, The Artist’s Way will help get you back on track, rediscover your passions, and take the steps you need to change your life.”

– Amazon


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For more information on all programs offered, please visit here: www.mi.edu/programs/

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