The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women


I’m not sure what is happening with me recently, but my mind is roiling with ideas.  Maybe it because I turned 40 this past winter.  Maybe it is the beginning of the school year, which is always more of my personal new year.  Maybe it is all these intense topics that call for women to use their voices in the upcoming election (don’t worry, I’m not about to get political!).  Maybe it is because my little ones are gaining more independence, and thus I’m gaining a bit more freedom.  But I am feeling so hopeful and determined that change is on the horizon for me.  A large part of that stems from the amazing resources I have found in my online communities.  Places that inform me, that inspire me, that spur me on toward change.  So, I thought I’d share some of my favorites that help fuel me with desires of reinvention and metamorphosis.


I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and with parenthood came a new-found love of non-fiction writing.  Plus, blogs and social media are now so tightly connected to publishing that I’m discovering more possibilities everyday.  Recently I read “Good Enough Is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood” written by a law professor and a journalist, both of whom made different career choices than they’d expected.  Examining the historical impact of feminism and the glass ceiling that our mothers and grandmothers faced, the authors then look at how those experiences shaped our expectations of women and then how we coped with the choices facing our own generation.  Technically, I’m probably considered part of the “opt-out” generation since I’ve currently decided to be at-home, and this book primarily addresses moms who found ways to continue on in the workplace.  But regardless, I really appreciated the anecdotes and research in this book.  They gave me a lot of ideas and reassurance as I picture my next decade of motherhood.

Reading that book has spurred me on to The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  Again, a social media status prompted me to look at Rubin’s books, as she has a new one out, Happier at Home.  I’m only 3/4 of the way through her first book, but I love it.  It deals with so many typical obstacles to everyday happiness, without being too kitchy.  I’m sort of a practical gal, and Rubin definitely takes a frank, honest approach to adding more joy to her life.  I love how up-front she is about her flaws and failings — since I share many of the same ones.  I found it a really nice, all-round look at areas of my life I want to see change as I move forward

My to-read list:  Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World, by Peggy Orenstein and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.


Well, this list could be SO long.  Many of these great thinkers you may already know and visit, others may be new to you.  I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily read all these regularly, but I love visiting for a jolt of inspiration.  Please share in the comments your experiences or add to the list!

Brene Brown, Ordinary Courage

Andrea Sherer, Superhero Journal

Karen Walrond, Chookooloonks

Susan Cain, The Power of Introverts

Tracey Clark, I am Enough Collaborative

Brain Pickings

Jen Lemen and friends, A Hopeful World

Patience Saldago, Kindness Girl

Brave Girls Club

Place I want to go or classes I want to take:


Vivienne McMaster courses


Susannah Conway, Unraveling

Oh the wealth of the internet and all the amazing creative women (and men) out there!  Share you favorites for working on your inner self.


About Amy

Amy Bader is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. A photography course in high school sent her to college with a journalism degree in mind, but some surprises along the way led to a career in veterinary medicine. Motherhood has brought things full circle, and now she is concentrating on her photography, finding her creative self and expressing the joys in life. When she isn’t chasing her boy/girl twins, helping her older son with homework, washing the dog, or cooking a meal -- she is probably watching some new tutorial or dreaming of art supplies. It’s a crazy life, but a good one.

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  • Stacey Woods

    Oh what a fabulous list, Amy. So much inspiration!