Thursday, April 24, 2008

Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel

Title: Coaching the Artist Within
Author: Eric Maisel
# pages: 212
Date published: 2005
Genre: nonfiction (writing)
Challenge(s): A Novel Challenge 2008 Mini-Challenge #10 – Inspirational

First Sentence:

“The ability to effectively coach yourself hinges on your having enough space to positively influence yourself, to openly communicate with yourself, to carefully monitor yourself, and to regularly chat with yourself.”
Synopsis from Barnes & Coaching the Artist Within contains a dozen simple lessons. Eric Maisel, a leading creativity coach, writes each one with a novelist's flair, as a narrative complete with examples, exercises, and questions to help readers explore and reflect on underlying issues that may be keeping them from pursuing their urge to create. Topics include committing, planning and doing, generating mental energy, achieving a centered presence, becoming an anxiety expert, upholding your dream, and maintaining a creative life. Maisel has worked extensively with creative people - poets, filmmakers, novelists, dancers - and he revisits some of them in coaching sessions in San Francisco, Paris, London, and New York. Typical are the rock musician who wants to pursue a solo career and the screenwriter anxious to become a poet. Their examples both entertain and instruct, outlining how to discover one's personal muse - and the motivation to keep creating.

Random Thoughts: I’m not sure if this is the type of book Wendy at Caribousmom had in mind when she issued the challenge to read an inspirational book, but this was certainly an inspirational book for me. Written for any type of creative person, Coaching the Artist Within contains strategies to help deal with everyday struggles many artists go through when it comes to being creative (anxiety, negative self-talk, creating in the middle of things, achieving balance, etc.). Some parts of the book I’ve already put into practice, others I’m still working on and probably will be for a long time. This book will continue to live on my writing bookshelf because I’ll read it over and over again.

Rating: 3.5 (very good)

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