SUZE's book club 3.0
The beginning of something new!
Coming together to help both aspiring and professional creative women find their voice, their strength and their worth… through books.
Established by Suze Gil in July 2019
Most of the many life lessons I’ve learned came from my parents and, most importantly, from reading books. Whether it was fictional or non-fictional, there is always something useful, something inspirational or something eye-opening to be found within any given text. And some texts are specially made for self-improvement and for educational purposes. You know, those typical self-help books. Or those lame looking books that will teach us how to become rich and famous. We see a title like that, read the summary on the back and think ‘YES’, this book will help me with my goals. But deep down, we think we know these books are rubbish and therefore, don't buy the book in the end. And with some books this way of thinking has merit. There are however, some very good books out there on how to improve oneself based on facts resulted from scientific or philosophical study and research. Unfortunately with these theoretical books, no matter how well written, sometimes the reader has trouble understanding what the author is trying to say. Or doesn't understand the context or examples given due to either cultural differences or lack of experience. Or in some cases, the reader simply does not agree with an aspect of the text and then discards the book entirely. Whatever the case may be, in my opinion these books merries discussion. Because although, a lot of books have indeed helped me educate and improve myself in the past. There are still a lot of the times parts within certain books I myself don't quite fully understand. And this makes me deeply insecure.
It’s all written down clearly. I should be able to understand what they are trying to tell me. The tips should be easy to implement in my daily routine, so why doesn’t it seem to work. I should be able to figure this out on my own, but it feels like I am not able to. And asking for help just proves I’m not good enough to succeed. At these moments, I genially feel stupid and inadequate. And feeling stupid or inadequate has been a life long issue, of which I know is rooted from my childhood. Even knowing this, and having overcome this issue substantially, it is still a very constraining feeling while pursuing my ambitions. To educate and improve myself while in the back of my head, someone says “Why bother?”. Somehow, my mind keeps forgetting, self-development is exactly what I’ve done the last few years. I have read many books and become much better in my field of expertise. Of course I still have much to learn, but I have come much farther than from where I started. However, I have never noticed these changes and growth by myself, but through the observations of my friends and colleagues. They see the changes and improvements and in turn I get to see them too through their eyes. Yet still the question remains; Why can’t I shake this feeling of inadequateness.
But then not too long ago, in the middle of reading a certain book, it suddenly hit me. I suddenly realised that I was not alone in this. I have seen the same traits in my friends and colleagues. And like me, I point out the positive changes and growth that I see in them. While reading this book, which gave me the revelation (the title I will reveal later), I read so many things that would not necessarily benefit me, but would help a lot of my colleagues. Especially, and naturally, my female colleagues. Why? Because there is something else I’ve began to observe within the creative industry (from hence I venture with pride). I’ve come to observe that women are more afraid of seeming inadequate then men are. (Of course, not excluding that men don’t have the same fears. But that is another chapter altogether.) Also not excluding that we are living in a more liberal country (NL) compared to others, it is in my experience that women within the creative industry don’t always feel confident with their own capabilities, skills and expertise. Not in public and definitely not in the workplace. Most women are more open and honest about their insecurities, but it is in my opinion that these insecurities are not always based on facts. Whether they are based on the assumptions given by others or thought to be given presumptions by others, the latter is highly dangerous in my opinion. And unfortunately, very common.
I do believe however, that it is something that can be combated. It is something that can be taught to others, and I want to do my best to help other ambitious women around me. Why? Because I've seen great work made by a lot of women, yet those works of pure art are hidden away behind lesser (paid) work because of their insecurities. Afraid to be scrutinised or worse yet, convinced their work it is not good enough to be seen. These women I want to help. I want to share the lessons I’m learning from books and simultaneously help other women learn them too. And the best way to do that, I thought, was by establishing a bookclub. A bookclub, specially formed for both aspiring and professional creative women to come together. To start an open discussion with each other that will help all of us to create a more structured working life. Something they forgot to mention at art school is, we are a business. And we should learn how to accomplish a secure business environment for ourselves and for our colleagues.
But I can not do this alone. Movements are made by the masses. We all have our unique experiences within our field, and by exchanging those experiences with each other, we will in change grow ourselves. This is why, in all honesty, I will need your help most of all. And an even more cheesiest way to say this is “Help me help you”. Hopefully by creating this community, it will help us battle our insecurities and help each other grow to their full potential. We are entitled to have elaborations without feeling inadequate and occasionally we need to be able to talk about these subjects with like-minded women in similar circumstances without feeling guilty or stupid. To help women who want to improve themselves and/or wish to achieve their goals. How can this be anything but a good thing to do? This is the main reason why I wanted to establish a bookclub. And at the same time, kinda reinvent it. No more sobbing over the death of sensual Roberto or philosophising why Alice followed the rabbit down the hole, but have full-on discussions on how we can grow as successful and secure women.
If you are reading this bit of the post, it means that what I've said has hit a nerve. And you even probably recognise a fellow colleague in this text as well. If so, please share this blog to start a following and so create the start of this community. Events will be planned on Facebook and I will do small introductions of the books we will be discussing in my blog. If you have read a few books yourself, but haven’t really been able to grasp it. Do share it with me! And we will add it to the list of books to read together! And whatever happens, don’t hesitate to ask me anything or think this won’t work for you. Because if you do, then this is exactly for you!
If you want more information you can check out the Facebook group. And if you have any questions, please ask! Don't feel stupid for asking it, that’s the whole point of this bookclub. If something is unclear, ask for elaborations. It is your right! Oh, and if it wasn’t obvious, this club is women only.
Hi, My name is Suze Gil and I write to help women in the creative industry through reading, share my love for art and tell stories.