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In his decades as a psychotherapist and creativity coach, Eric Maisel has found a common thread behind what often gets labeled "writer's block," "procrastination," or "stage fright." It's the particular anxiety that, paradoxically, keeps creators from doing, completing, or sharing the work they are driven toward. This "creative anxiety" can take the form of avoiding the work, declaring it not good enough, or failing to market it - and it can cripple creators for decades, even lifetimes. But Maisel has learned ...
In his decades as a psychotherapist and creativity coach, Eric Maisel has found a common thread behind what often gets labeled "writer's block," "procrastination," or "stage fright." It's the particular anxiety that, paradoxically, keeps creators from doing, completing, or sharing the work they are driven toward. This "creative anxiety" can take the form of avoiding the work, declaring it not good enough, or failing to market it - and it can cripple creators for decades, even lifetimes. But Maisel has learned what sets successful creators apart. He shares these strategies here, including artist-specific stress management; how to work despite bruised egos, day jobs, and other inevitable frustrations; and what not to do to deal with anxiety. Implementing these twenty-four lessons replaces the pain of not creating with the profound rewards of free artistic self-expression.
1 The Anxiety of Creating and Not Creating 1
2 The Anxiety of Mattering and Not Mattering 17
3 The Anxiety of Identity 27
4 The Anxiety of Individuality 35
5 The Anxiety of Choosing the Creative Life 47
6 The Anxiety of Surviving 59
7 The Anxiety of Day Jobs 69
8 The Anxiety of Choosing 79
9 The Anxiety of Compromising 89
10 The Anxiety of Possibility 99
11 The Anxiety of Working 109
12 The Anxiety of Thinking 117
13 The Anxiety of Ruining 127
14 The Anxiety of Failing 139
15 The Anxiety of Completing 149
16 The Anxiety of Attaching and Caring 159
17 The Anxiety of Ego Bruising 169
18 The Anxiety of Performing 177
19 The Anxiety of Selling 187
20 The Anxiety of Promoting 197
21 The Anxiety of Procrastinating 207
22 The Anxiety of Waiting 217
23 The Anxiety of Repeating 227
24 The Anxiety of Success 237
About the Author 259
Posted June 1, 2011
Posted March 22, 2011
Twenty-four lessons for managing your feelings of anxiety. The subtitle suggests that artists of all kinds tap into these chapters, "24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians and Actors.." I believe these techniques would help any procrastinator out there. Have you ever started a project only to run out of enthusiasm? I know I have. I started painting a small apartment in the end of December and admit that I still have finishing touches to add and it's mid-March. Even as recently as a few days ago I was painting. I have one more color to touch-up and then I can officially say the project is complete. I believe that this book helped me put the excuses aside and change my attitude from project as chore to project as gift to myself. Two of the 24 lessons particularly appealed to me. Chapter 14, The Anxiety of Failing, provides new visualization techniques. I loved the suggestion to visualize yourself in the presence of someone who is calming for you such as a loved one, a deceased one, a close friend, etc. Usually these techniques center on placing yourself in a safe environment or stepping your mind through the process visualizing a successful ending. Chapter 21, The Anxiety of Procrastination, says, "Anxiety causes procrastination, and procrastination produces more anxiety. Get out of this vicious cycle by recognizing how much anxiety is at play." That's what I needed to hear. I felt like I was avoiding anxiety by pushing off my painting needs and yet what I was actually doing was making the feeling grow. Once I realized that, it was a matter of time before that color line between ceiling and wall became straighter. It was a great gift to give myself to wake up the day after painting and say, "Wow, that wall looks great." Rather than saying, "I've really got to fix that awful bleed-over. It looks so bad." By focusing on the negative, my energy fled from painting over to anything else I could find to do that day. And, it was easy to go on and on finding an ever-growing list of other chores less taxing. When I shifted focus to relieving my anxiety, I woke up one morning, changed into my paint clothes and got to work. I did not like the format of the book, however. Each chapter contains a parable. A little fictional story demonstrates the chapter principle. I just skipped them and got to the point. I felt like they were used more as filler and adding fiction to a non-fiction work didn't appeal to me. So maybe I missed out on an insightful bit but really, I feel much relieved because my project is now complete and that anxiety is gone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 29, 2011
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