Creating from the Spirit: Living Each Day as a Creative Act

Overview

Wakefield explodes the many myths often associated with the mysterious creative process: that creativity is only for the artistic elite, that women's work is less creative than men's, that to be creative means one must be tormented, neurotic, and a failure at relationships. Drawing on examples from religion, philosophy, and literature, and exercises such as journaling and right-brain drawing, "Creating from the Spirit" teaches us that the key to creation is clarity of body, mind, and spirit. This book examines ...
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Overview

Wakefield explodes the many myths often associated with the mysterious creative process: that creativity is only for the artistic elite, that women's work is less creative than men's, that to be creative means one must be tormented, neurotic, and a failure at relationships. Drawing on examples from religion, philosophy, and literature, and exercises such as journaling and right-brain drawing, "Creating from the Spirit" teaches us that the key to creation is clarity of body, mind, and spirit. This book examines the stereotype of tortured artists like Dylan Thomas, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jackson Pollock, and Kurt Cobain, and contrasts them with portraits of fulfilled and healthy creators, such as Toni Morrison, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Michael Jordan, and Hildegarde of Bingen.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Clarity of mind, body, and spirit is the key to creativity," declares Wakefield (Expect a Miracle) at the start of this sage and affirming work. To help readers understand and embrace both clarity and its radiant offspring, creativity, Wakefield follows a carefully structured "road map" that begins with the debunking of several "myths." These include the ideas that creativity depends upon suffering and that the ability to be creative fades with age. The myth that gets the author's most passionate attention, though, is the belief that alcohol or drugs awaken creativity. Here, as elsewhere, Wakefield draws upon his own experiences, investing his text with a welcome and warming personal touch. Next comes an examination of processes Wakefield deems supportive of creativitythe acts of emptying oneself of egoism and of allowing oneself to be filled with "spirit." A series of exercises designed to nurture creativity follows. The book winds up with original statements by a variety of "creators," from musician Judy Collins to writer Mark Matousek to telephone receptionist Karen Monti Lindo, on how they learned to free their own creative sparks, and concludes with commonsense advice on how to foster creativity at any moment of the day. Covering vital ground both theoretical and practical, this potentially life-changing work should appeal to the same wide readership as Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Author tour. (July)
Library Journal
Contending that conventional interpretations of creativity actually limit the scope of the creative spirit, journalist Wakefield (Expect a Miracle, LJ 5/1/95) explodes the stereotypes and myths surrounding creativity, e.g., only artists possess the power of creativity as the simple act of daily living. In order for the creative spirit to develop, individuals must first clarify their spiritual goals by emptying themselves of the noisy intrusions of daily life and then fill themselves up with the power of their new visions. Through a series of wide-ranging interviews and reflections with creative spirits such as Michael Jordan and Reynolds Price, Wakefield demonstrates that the "key to creation is the clarity of body, mind, and spirit." Wakefield's lucid insights and luminous prose recommend his book for most libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345374301
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/18/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 321
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Creating Our Daily Lives 3
2 The Creative Spirit 14
3 Myths of Creativity 29
4 The Biggest Myth of All: Booze and the Muse 61
5 Dr. Leary's Quick Fix: The Illusion of Drugs 81
6 Evoking the Spirit: The Power of Clarity 95
7 Emptying 111
8 Filling Up 142
9 Creating 157
10 Creators Talking 203
11 Doing It Day by Day 273
12 New Models: Creators of the Spirit 296
Index 311
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