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Creativity for Life: Practical Advice on the Artist's Personality, and Career from America's Foremost Creativity Coach Paperback – March 8, 2007
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From the Back Cover
"This book will save new artists and working artists years of wasted effort and thousands of dollars in therapy. This is a brilliant, wonderful book -- a bible. Maisel is a sage."
-- Heather Sellers, PhD, author of Georgia Under Water and Page After Page
"Eric Maisel has done it again! This indispensable guide to actually living as an artist must be on every working artist's shelf to be read again and again. Ten thumbs over the moon!"
-- Jennifer Louden, author of The Life Organizer and The Woman's Comfort Book
"In Creativity for Life, America's premier creativity coach delves deeply into the issues that challenge writers, artists, musicians, and performers and provides them with unique strategies and stimulating insights to achieve their creative destinies."
-- Nita Leland, artist and author of The New Creative Artist
"Eric Maisel is the therapist, counselor, coach, and friend we all want and need. He provides the psychological tools to help artists lead a mature, functioning, productive, and enriching personal and creative life."
-- Bobette Buster, adjunct professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts and La Fémis, Paris
"Eric Maisel has taught me more about the creative life and how to live it successfully than any other author. Creativity for Life is for anyone who has ever dared to live an extraordinary and fully exposed life."
-- Sharon Lebell, author of The Art of Living: The Classic Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
"This is the most comprehensive book on creativity that I have encountered. I will make this book required reading for the students in my creativity coaching training as well as for clients embarking upon a creative path."
-- Jill Badonsky, MEd, creativity coaching trainer and author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)
"If you are an artist who wants to get a project finished, read this book. It gave me new understanding of my artist personality and why I put things off. Most important, it gave me new courage to forge the path I know I have to take."
-- Coleen Rajotte, documentary filmmaker
"Eric Maisel speaks as the artist's friend and ally. His book will serve as a powerful encouragement for people who undertake the courageous and often lonely adventure of finding, protecting, and nourishing their creative voice."
-- Stephen Nachmanovitch, author of Free Play: The Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts
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Top Customer Reviews
In the introduction he distinguishes between the "artful life," which is the way many people wish to live; the "art-filled life," which includes the joy that art brings; and an "art-committed life," the process of actively choosing to be creative. It's this latter that's the focus of the book.
"As soon as you decide to be creative in a particular domain and that you mean to live as a novelist, biochemist, actor, or sculptor, you introduce a set of profound challenges that you would not have confronted if you had `settled' for artful living and an art-filled life" (p. xii). In four major sections, Maisel thoroughly examines the challenges faced in seeking an art-committed life: The Challenge of the Artistic Personality, The Challenge of the Work, The Challenge of Relationships, and Strategies & Tactics. Each section is brilliantly detailed and will make sense to anyone at any stage of invention, innovation, or imagination.
Because creative folks face major obstacles that non-artists do not, Maisel spends a great deal of time giving hints, ideas, and suggestions. Just a few include ways to silence negative self-talk, using visualization, focusing, and practicing one's craft while bringing to it skills such as regularity, honesty, self-direction, intensity, joy, discipline, and more. He tells us, "Creativity is the act of making one choice after another" (p. 120). Living an art-committed life is the same. As Maisel says late in the book, "Lifelong creativity isn't given to you. You must earn it and attend to it every day... You will have to dig deep to find the requisite honesty, courage, and resilience to live an artful, art-filled, art-committed life... You must really want it and really commit to it in order to have it... to crack through everyday resistance and create for a lifetime" (p. 319-320).
I approach every new nonfiction book by Maisel with giddy excitement, wondering what fresh aspect of the creative process he'll unearth, dust off, and show around. Sometimes I feel like the man must personally know me and the challenges I face in writing - but we have, of course, never met. Maisel is just an amazing creativity coach and counselor who knows the secrets and insecurities, triumphs and tribulations of those who seek the creative life. This book is the next best thing to personally experiencing Maisel's creativity coaching, and I highly recommend it. ~Lori L. Lake, Midwest Book Review
A couple problems I found is that the exercises weren't really integrated into each chapter. The writing is also fairly dry, which occasionally had me feeling that I was slogging through the book.
Overall, I'd recommend this book as a resource to both creativity coaches and artists who are looking for some understanding and help.
I love all of Eric Maisel's books. His knowledge of the artist's temperament and life is profound and comprehensive. He does not balk at the hard stuff. And having the hard stuff out on the table makes me feel understood and supported and inspires me to keep moving forward with my work and life.
Whenever I feel alone in my life's goals with writing, I read any of Eric Maisel's books and immediately feel better and encouraged. He really has a great writing style and a beautiful way of pointing out the truth with heart. That's a rare gift. Thank you Eric!!!
Just can't put this book down. It's not just for those in the art area, but also for all the creative
ideas and projects that we all have. Those inventions you have had in your head floating around
can actually come to fruition by reading Mr. Maisel's book.