Are you assailed by self-doubt and procrastination, and find it tough to begin to write, paint, sing or optimise your creativity or live authentically? These three books together share the secrets of some of the most dynamic and successful women, from bestselling authors, businesswomen, artists, musicians, scholars, interior designers, and many others, and explore how they dissolve the barriers that prevent their creative impulses from finding expression. This is not to suggest that every ritual or routine that each of the women in these books follows is a foolproof catalyst to unleash your creativity, but the glimpses into their lives are fascinating, amusing, revitalising, and yes, inspiring too.
The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor by Gail McMeekin
Right from facing their fears to selecting empowering partnerships and alliances to consulting with guides, to dealing with energy and serenity stealers, McMeekin’s twelve secrets can motivate readers to create their own blueprint to unleash their greatness.
Earnestly recounting how 45 successful women achieved their dreams, McMeekin hands you a companion guide that has the keys to your creative expansion. She opens up three major gateways through which you begin this journey: Engaging your creativity, Mastering your challenges, and Actualising creative results to wield the power of positive priorities. Through interviews with successful and highly creative women from different fields like Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, Clarissa Pinkola, Jungian analyst, poet, scholar, cantadora, and author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, Shakti Gawain, world consciousness teacher and workshop leader, publisher and author of Creative Visualisation, entrepreneur Joline Godfrey, children’s book illustrator Jan Brett, restaurateur Lydia Shire, and many more, she takes us through their transformative journeys and challenges, and her own, which was overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome. Right from facing their fears to selecting empowering partnerships and alliances to consulting with guides, to dealing with energy and serenity stealers, McMeekin’s twelve secrets (one for each week or each month of the year) can motivate readers to create their own blueprint to unleash their greatness.
Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currey
In this powerful and championing sequel to his first book, Daily Rituals, Currey offers 143 vibrant depictions of the routines of creative women, living and dead, drawn from letters and diaries. The book is filled with the innovative and fascinating accounts of some of the world’s best female creators. Barbara Hepworth sculpted outdoors. Margaret Bourke-White was a morning person. Margaret Mitchell depended on Johnnie Walker, Frida Kahlo on Demerol. Janet Frame wore earmuffs as she worked to block out noise. Kate Chopin wrote with her six children ‘swarming around her’ whereas the artist Rosa Bonheur filled her bedroom with the sixty birds that inspired her work. Louisa May Alcott wrote so vigorously – skipping sleep and meals – that she had to learn to write with her left hand to give her cramped right hand a break. Filled with details of the large and small choices these women—writers, sculptors, filmmakers, composers, journalists—made, the book is about the day-to-day lives of some of the world’s most extraordinary creative minds like Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Brontë, who made time and got to work.
In this powerful and championing sequel to his first book, Daily Rituals, Currey offers 143 vibrant depictions of the routines of creative women, living and dead, drawn from letters and diaries.
The Artist’s Way: A Course in Rediscovering and Recovering Your Creative Self by Julia Cameron
At the core of this book are processes designed to facilitate creative recovery, especially when the shadow of self-doubt, the imposter syndrome, excuses like having no money or feeling too old to begin, or fears like ridicule from family and friends thwart one’s creativity. While the author is of the opinion that creativity is synonymous with spirituality, she emphasises that the reader need not ascribe to this view. The author strongly recommends writing three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing to unblock the senses and connect with a source of wisdom within. It suggests that the reader take herself out on an artist’s date, every week, all through the duration of her engagement with the coursebook, which has other ‘tasks’ too, crafted to recovering a sense of identity, integrity, abundance, connection strength, compassion, autonomy and so on. What could be contentious for the reader is the suggestion to spend a week of ‘reading deprivation’, which Cameron believes is a frightening but powerful tool to lighten sensory overload that blocks creativity. This could lead to withdrawal symptoms but is worth a try if at the end of it, you can reclaim your creative territory.
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Archana Pai Kulkarni is the Books Editor at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.