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Creating a Life Worth Living Paperback – August 2, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Many of us don't fit into the conventional career mold, particularly those of us who work--or aspire to work--in creative capacities. Quality-of-life seekers will feel affirmed upon reading Carol Lloyd's Creating a Life Worth Living, in which she posits, "You are actively searching for two things: the creative life you want to lead and the way to create and maintain that life so that you are as sane and as happy and as financially solvent as you want to be." Not just for those engaged specifically in the arts, Creating a Life Worth Living is for everyone who realizes the need to approach their personal and career problems in a more creative way.

"Every life can benefit from the brilliance and thrill of unleashed creativity," argues Lloyd, "but there are some professions that cannot survive without it." Citing fields as wildly divergent as events planning, teaching, and electronic media (as well as those in the arts), Lloyd outlines nothing less than a plan for reinventing a life. The tasks taken from her workshop encourage readers to investigate old belief systems, then generate new ones. Adding to the book's richness and diversity of resources are writing exercises that provoke awareness, art assignments, and interviews with such artists as vocalist Meredith Monk and writer Mary Gaitskill. Creating a Life Worth Living helps readers focus on and respect a part of the self too often lost amidst the larger pressures to conform.

About the Author

Carol Lloyd, a writer, performer, and entrepreneur, is the founder of The Writing Parlor, a San Francisco literary arts center. For the past seven years, she has led Life Worth Living workshops, helping hundreds attain their creative dreams. Her essay and short fiction have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times Magazine, the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Focus, and Salon magazine, where she is a regular contributor.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st edition (August 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060952431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060952433
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Bonita L. Davis on July 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
At first glance I shied away from the book. After all, it clearly is a specialized text for artists only! How wrong I was." Creating a Life Worth Living "addresses the need of both artists and non-artists to search for a creative life and maintain it. The concepts, exercises and techniques shared in its pages speaks to the unactualized creativity embeded in our souls. Of course the text is focused on artists (broadly used term) but the imparted information can be used by people in all fields of endeavors.
I found three areas of information especially helpful to the non-artist. First, you are provided with mini-profiles and interviews of artists ( in varied fields) sharing their journey of success. Their stories put in perspective that one must struggle and stay disciplined in your field. Second, the author develops artistic profiles to enable a person to identify their inherent artistic style of creativity. The profile is almost an echo of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator profile only this time geared for artists. Such a profile helps an artist to capitalize on their strengths. Third, jobs are identified that can support or undermine your creativity. The pros and cons are discussed to enable you to make the best out of your long term artistic goal. No matter how creative you are certain material needs have to be met (ie, drudgery job) in order to live and fill your artistic goal.
Lloyd's book is an excellent manual on how to live out and actualize your creative spirit regardless of what field you choose. Your dreams will become a reality through planning, research, imagination and putting your plan into action.
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book speaks specifically to people who aspire to creative careers. Lloyd talks about the pitfalls that keep people from creating, as well as the structures in the day that foster artistic activity. The author knows intimately what helps and what doesn't, in terms of an artists' career development and personal habits. Also, throughout the book are descriptions and interviews with successful artists. These were instrumental in helping me see that there are many different ways to be a successful artists, and that it is possible to make a living doing art. In fact, nothing seems more fun than that!
To anyone who is creative, not necessarily even an artist, I HIGHLY recommend this book. I've read many, many career books, and this one has done it like no other, because it goes beyond merely brainstorming what you love to do, into structuring your lifestyle to focus on what you love to do.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 3, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carol Lloyd's "Creating a Life Worth Living" bears a subtitle that declares it to be "a practical course in career design for artists, innovators, and others aspiring to a creative life." And in that, it succeeds quite well. The course (developed from workshops Lloyd teaches) starts with the assumption that maybe you have a yearning to do something different with your life, but you don't yet know what that is or, at least, how to do it. Starting with a "daily action" and moving on to some material on idea generation and abstraction, Lloyd mixes thoughts on creativity ("It's good to simply look at your lived experience and separate it from your concepts about 'life.'") with concrete exercises and interviews with successful creative people from all walks of life: teachers, painters, actors, writers, inventors, entrepreneurs, performance artists, dancers, directors, and more.
A book like this won't bandage up your life and make everything better in five easy steps. It won't reveal a magical key that will show you how to make millions from your watercolors. But it can help you to see your life a bit more clearly. It can help you to see the options and resources you might have missed, and it can help you to figure out what needs you have, creatively speaking, and how best to fulfill them.
Questions encourage you to take both the short and the long view, the practical and the ideal. Lloyd helps you to let go of your preconceptions by having you write down everything, no matter how silly, and by sharing stories of people who succeeded by doing what everyone told them they shouldn't do. So if you're already snugly fitted into your creative career, you'll have little use for this book. But if you're struggling to figure out what to do next or where to go, this book could help you turn your interests and desires into a concrete plan of action that fulfills both emotional and practical needs.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Whether you're an actor, a painter, a performance artist, a writer, an illustrator... this Self-Help Book is set up like a seminar for all Creative Souls. An 11-week course in setting career-minded goals, organization, and curing any lapses in inspiration; this book has become a cornerstone for the way I am building my life and career as an artist. (And I was able to read a little bit each week without getting bored! ) I wish there were some way I could tell every aspiring artist suffering from self-doubt about this wonderful and uplifting book which has become a practical guidebook for the way I live my life. Whether you've been searching for a way to legitimize your "hobby", or if you know exactly what you want out of your creative life, but have no idea where to start...buy this book! You will not regret it.
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