© 2019 by EMM | Rochester, New York 14607

  • Elissa May Murphy

5 Books Every Freelancer Needs In Their Library

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

It's the holiday season!

We are nearing the trudged wintry weather. The more I anticipate what classic New York State will be bringing our way this season, the more I grow to anticipate huddling indoors, cozying up with a knit blanket, snuggling the cats, and reading a good book!

Who's with me?

As I continue along the path of long-term substitute teacher status for four sessions of seventh grade English, I asked my students to complete a journal entry last week. These students typically complete one every day in their composition notebooks. This time around, they were to write down their favorite book: describing what the book was about, who wrote the book, what genre is the book categorized under, and why they love it so much!

To no surprise, half of the class proclaimed that they hated reading.

And I don't blame them.

They are in the prime of their angsty teen phase. Had I scoffed at their negative responses, I would be a hypocrite. To much surprise, I was once their age. I had only read whenever it was necessary as a seventh-grader and I always waited until the last minute to complete my summer reading assignments.

By the time I got up to the high school, I would enter the classroom and immediately tell the teacher that I had a music lesson (sorry, mom). The teachers would send me on my way so I could practice my instruments. Look at where it got me! Come to think about it, I wonder what my grades were in my English classes (Mom, I know you're reading this)?

Looking back, I wish I had carved out more time during grade school and college, respectively, to spend in my room sporting my cozy pajamas and relax with a good book. It sounds crazy, but I have slowly but surely come to understand how much of an introvert I am.

No matter what I have been reading, there has always been a takeaway: be it a life lesson or food for thought. The intelligent minds of these authors have compelled me to share their content with you. No matter the title and no matter what you do, there are so many incredible revelations from the following books. I hope you stock your wishlists with these incredible reads. Enjoy!

1. The Talent Code


Daniel Coyle confesses that talent isn't born (rather, it's grown) in his scientifically and educationally-backed text: The Talent Code. Coyle has researched and has determined that proper training of the brain can bring forth development and growth of our talents. In turn, showcasing the succession of your training to your talent could compel others to strive for improved growth and their talents and grow to become that in which they strive for. Whether it be mathematics or music, multiple cases have been examined and put on display for all to take away something, expressing why some methodologies work better than others. This captivating book will allow for you to rethink the way in which you practice and perfect your own craft.

2. As A Lady Would Say

Industry / Networking

This book is relevant to each and every one of you reading! No matter your current lifestyle and platter of manners you may sport any time you give a first impression, As A Lady Would Say showcases a plethora of possible scenarios that can occur while you're out and about, networking, and more! Not stopping there, Sheryl Shade points out how you would, could, and should properly respond in the moment of conversation. Pick this up online or on site via Brooks Brothers.

3. The Freelancer’s Bible

Performance / Freelance

I'm pretty sure I say this on a near daily basis, but it cannot be further from the truth for me: I never stop learning.

Especially with this pick-me-up! This four hundred and ninety-six page showstopper features how to stay strong in this ever-growing, ever-competitive world of Freelance: from the ins and outs of becoming your own advocate, how to potentially snag benefits, how to expand your network, and more.

The possibilities are endless on continuing to improve upon both our weaknesses and strengths in order to secure a more substantial schedule of our services while keeping afloat and getting paid what you are worth! Sara Horowitz explains all about bridging the gap from unemployed to full-time hustler in this highly-detailed book. She has since founded the Freelancers Union (1995).

4. Between The Dreaming & The Coming True

Spiritual / Freelance

Although this book by Robert Benson tells personal stories of his uncertainty with God and his road back to understanding his faith, his analogies bring up broadly important topics for anyone that may just be at a standstill with life's happenings.

This book, created in 2001, was incredibly inspiring to read during one of the "worst" years of my life: 2017. Each chapter had so many takeaways that were still so relevant to the here & now. As Benson explains his journey back to his newfound understandings with God, I was compelled to seek new understandings with my freelance career. Understanding that this may not be the book for everyone; I, too, seemed to have steered back on the right track with keeping my faith close and having trust as I continued along the seemingly risky path of freelancing.

5. Flow


Forewarning: this is my second time around in attempt to fully comprehend this book.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is an American-Hungarian psychologist who is most recognized for his construction of the concept of Flow: the utmost-focused mental state.

That said, I have found that this book takes a lot of focus in order to grasp its concepts. This could just be me; it takes a lot for me to just be able to sit down, take a deep breath, and read through a high-caliber read. A conducting colleague of mine and I met up for coffee last year after attempting to "get through" this book the first time...

That's the problem... I was trying to get through it.

At the right place and the right time, I will get through it. Now that I've taken the winter break to settle down, grab a cup of tea and begin reading, I'm now starting to grasp the multitude of concepts Csikszentmihalyi brings to our attention. Just like being in the zone when practicing, I have finally felt in the zone and fully focused picking this book back up again. It has assisted in my practice sessions firsthand and I cannot continue to read more about the state of Flow. No matter if you are a musician, athlete, or expert at something unique, this book opens up the mind and soul in order to achieve the ultimate productive sessions in our respective crafts.

No matter who you are and what you do, these books can apply to your craft in hopes of continuing along the path to lifelong learning and extending your artistry in a multitude of ways.

Now we want to pick your brain...

Leave your book recommendations down below.

Happy Reading!


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