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The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor Paperback – February 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Earnestly recounting how 45 successful women achieved their dreams, McMeekin aims to provide "mentors" who can help readers transcend creative blocks as they follow her program for personal transformation. Drawing heavily on the work of Shakti Gawain, the originator of "creative visualization," and Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, McMeekin's approach rests on three "gateways": honoring one's creativity, assembling inner and outer resources, and maintaining "abundance" through "positive priorities." Within each area, McMeekin offers familiar "secrets" for tapping inner resources to reach one's goals, such as through building a team of empowering allies or facing down one's fear of criticism. Numerous case studies of remarkable women--ranging from Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Est?s and entrepreneur Joline Godfrey to children's book illustrator Jan Brett and restaurateur Lydia Shire, as well as McMeekin herself, who triumphed over chronic fatigue syndrome--illustrate each point. Unfortunately, the biographical profiles rarely convey the emotional highs and lows of each woman's transformative journey. In addition, readers who must contend with physical or financial barriers to success may also feel distanced from the women in the book, whose obstacles are addressed primarily in psychological terms. Still, McMeekin's practical guide will help highly motivated readers reflect on their past failures and successes in order to design their own road map for an inspired life. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

From The Back Cover:
"The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women is such a wonderful reading experience. I couldn't wait to hear each story and glean all the wit, humor, and wisdom from each woman's own experience - to me the most uplifting way to teach that I can think of. McMeekin's style is so readable and well paced, I felt I was sitting at her kitchen table getting all the best news about my own group of fiends."
-- Carol Adrienne, co-author of The Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential Guide and author of The Purpose of Your Life.

"Women who create are everywhere, but their success stories have been underreported. Gail McMeekin helps change that in her inspiring book for women - and men - who have the creative urge and the desire to live authentically."
-- Eric Maisel, Ph.D., author of Deep Writing, Fearless Creating, and Living the Writer's Life.

"An empowering book for those ready to confront self-defeating patterns related to creativity, and a great booster shot for those of us who have already faced and conquered some of the dragons."
-- Caroll Michels, career coach, artist, advocate, author of How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573241415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573241410
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gail McMeekin, L.I.C.S.W. is an executive/career/creativity/positive choices coach and consultant in Boston with clients all over the world. She is the author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and The Power of Positive Choices, both with Conari Press, and several e-books which are available at her website .Gail helps people to activiate their creativity, discover fulfilling work, restore inner peace, and grow their businesses. She also works with budding authors to help them to get their books and articles published, as well as other creative entrepreneurs trying to build successful businesses. Her monthly newsletter called Creative Success just celebrated its 100th issue. Gail is also a watercolor painter and gets inspired to paint, especially during the summers she spends on Cape Cod.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is another of several excellent books in which an author has assembled what she or he has learned from a number of different in-depth interviews. In effect, the reader is given direct access to the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of persons who may otherwise be inaccessible. McMeekin interviewed 45 "highly creative women" whose responses reveal 12 "secrets" which, in fact, are affirmations of basic values which most of us have been encouraged to embrace by caring parents and other relatives, teachers, coaches, clergy, etc. My own opinion is that these same values would also be affirmed by highly creative men.
McMeekin organizes her material within a series of three "Gateways" (ie rights of passage): Engaging Your Creativity, Mastering Your Challenges as a Creative Woman, and Actualizing Creative Results: The Power of Positive Priorities. She suggests that certain lessons can be learned from "a myriad of practices called Challenges." It takes courage (sometimes great courage) to confront such challenges. Hence the importance of the "lessons." McMeekin suggests that a "fabulous notebook, a gorgeous notebook" be purchased in which to record responses to all of the Challenges included in her book. She further suggests that the 12 Secrets be applied during each week or each month of the year.
Prior to reading a book, it is my standard procedure first to check out its title and subtitle, its Table of Contents, and then its Introduction or Preface. Frankly, I had some apprehensions after doing so with this book. How does McMeekin define "creative"? Written for and about women, will the book have any relevance to me and other males? Also frankly, by now I have become skeptical (if not cynical) about references to "secrets.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Karen Speerstra on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been collecting and reading books on creativity since the 70's and this is one of the best published to date. Don't let the cover fool you. It's NOT just another collection of the famous and near famous talking about how creative they are. McMeekin has artfully woven a fine tapestry from her own material as well as threads provided by the 45 interviewees. Because of this author's skill, this is a fine example of the whole being much more than a collection of its parts. It's masterfully done and provides more than creative theory--it's real. And it's valuable on so many levels. The secret's out!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Bonita L. Davis on July 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
A fine meal requires the diner to slowy savor and digest the contents in order to appreciate the wonderful experience it brings. Such is the case with 12 Secrets. You must slowly digest, savor and absorb the fine insights it brings to nourish your dormant creativity.
Creativity is the vital lifeblood of women which too often is surpressed by our inner critics and outside influences. Regaining that vital force in our lives is the key to fully engage the unlimited possibilities set before us.
Enter Gail's three doorways which unfold the secrets we need to begin our creative venture. At the end of each chapter questions are presented to enable us to unfold the specifics of what holds our creativity back. Throughout the book interviews are shared about other successful women who had to go through a similar process to awaken their creative powers.
12 Secrets is a gentle mentor that raises women's consciousness and encourages them along the way. I couldn't put it down and neither will you when you have this resource in your hands.
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136 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on October 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately I feel that the title of this book, 12 secrets of Highly Creative Women, was misleading, and am not surprised that several eminent woman would not contribute to it.
Misleading in that 'secrets' was certainly not what was discussed, rather ways of solving common problems faced by creative women. Being a woman with 3 children myself, I was looking for advice on how to cope with childrearing and the 'creative process.' The main gist of advice given, was that most women with children couldn't really be fully creative until those children had virtually left home, or at least be in full time education. Either that or one was given an example of a 'creative woman' who basically had little or no sleep to write. Is this a 'secret' I ask myself. The author had no children herself and had found difficulty in managing to get this book written. Perhaps I was at fault in expecting the book to contain real 'secrets' or at least some advice I had never tried myself. I think a list of possible solutions, the problems involved in following these solutions and then maybe some brainstorming by the author with several groups of 'creative' and non creative women and maybe even some men, may have made more useful interesting and entertaining reading.
The overall tone of the book was not only that of someone barely scratching the surface of an interesting idea, but also of no summarising or conclusive thinking by the author. Much as I admire anyone writing any book, I do feel that if this author had decided on actually trying to give some followable practical advice, before she started to write, we would all have been much wiser.
The title I believe should have been,
"My Meanderings on What Some Women have Said to Me Once"
Melbourne Australia
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