A debut self-help guide offers an introspective and encouraging analysis of the creative process.
This manual argues that many steps are necessary to produce a work of art—whether it’s a novel, a painting, or a performance—but those procedures are often minimized or overlooked when planning a project: “Our culture’s obsession with fame and fortune teaches us to value the products that result from creative acts more than the process itself.” Wild aims to rectify this oversight by explaining the elemental stages of a work to help artists who may be stuck at any point along the way. The underlying thesis is that the creative urge is a universal life force that demands expression: “A voice of inspiration inside each of us struggles to be heard.” The book takes the reader through an entire production cycle, breaking it into sections that dissect the process from philosophical, spiritual, and psychological perspectives. Some of the elements discussed include recognizing inspiration, overcoming obstacles, and knowing when to compromise on an artistic vision and when to stand firm. Each part ends with a series of penetrating questions for self-examination. In these pages, Wild uses an effective mix of research, quotations, and observations gleaned from clients she’s worked with as a creativity expert and life coach as well as the ups and downs she encountered getting her book written and published. Her tone is honest and sincere, with insights—such as “If you want to improve the quality of your work, separate your self-worth from the piece you have made”—that come across as authentic and hard-won. This volume reads like a personalized, guided tour of the creative process, including practical planning advice as well as warnings about unanticipated roadblocks. The intimate, first-person narration speaks directly to the reader, counseling those in the throes of creation to stick to their artistic goals rather than get thrown off track by doubts or the rigors of the projects.
An engaging road map for artistic expression that successfully explores the necessary routes while supporting those who are taking the trip.