An engaging road map for artistic expression that successfully explores the necessary routes while supporting those who are...

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WILD IDEAS

CREATIVITY FROM THE INSIDE OUT

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. 

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9968105-0-0

Page Count: 326

Publisher: Standing Place Press

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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The book would have benefited from a tighter structure, but it’s inspiring and relatable for readers with depression.

THE HILARIOUS WORLD OF DEPRESSION

The creator and host of the titular podcast recounts his lifelong struggles with depression.

With the increasing success of his podcast, Moe, a longtime radio personality and author whose books include The Deleted E-Mails of Hillary Clinton: A Parody (2015), was encouraged to open up further about his own battles with depression and delve deeper into characteristics of the disease itself. Moe writes about how he has struggled with depression throughout his life, and he recounts similar experiences from the various people he has interviewed in the past, many of whom are high-profile entertainers and writers—e.g. Dick Cavett and Andy Richter, novelist John Green. The narrative unfolds in a fairly linear fashion, and the author relates his family’s long history with depression and substance abuse. His father was an alcoholic, and one of his brothers was a drug addict. Moe tracks how he came to recognize his own signs of depression while in middle school, as he experienced the travails of OCD and social anxiety. These early chapters alternate with brief thematic “According to THWoD” sections that expand on his experiences, providing relevant anecdotal stories from some of his podcast guests. In this early section of the book, the author sometimes rambles. Though his experiences as an adolescent are accessible, he provides too many long examples, overstating his message, and some of the humor feels forced. What may sound naturally breezy in his podcast interviews doesn’t always strike the same note on the written page. The narrative gains considerable momentum when Moe shifts into his adult years and the challenges of balancing family and career while also confronting the devastating loss of his brother from suicide. As he grieved, he writes, his depression caused him to experience “a salad of regret, anger, confusion, and horror.” Here, the author focuses more attention on the origins and evolution of his series, stories that prove compelling as well.

The book would have benefited from a tighter structure, but it’s inspiring and relatable for readers with depression.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20928-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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