I am always on the lookout for inspirational books that contain a creative spark as well as solid information that I can implement into my life. With this in mind I recently checked out The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A portable mentor written by Gail McMeekin from the library. Although originally published in 2000 it is currently enjoying a second publication due to its continued popularity.
The author shares her research based on interviews with over 45 women who are creative professionals. This includes women such as Sarah Ban Breathnach, Chris Madden and Barbara Sher. The 12 secrets are the patterns or themes that kept coming up during the interviews.
The author covers a lot of ground from Secret #1 (Acknowledging Your Creative Self) to Secret #12 (Planning to Achieve Your Goals). In Secret #7 she explains the pros and cons of teaming up with a partner or group to help launch your creative dreams. As someone who has always been hesitant about joining groups or starting a partnership I found the advice regarding choosing the right people and the benefits of having a partner or group, such as freeing up your creative energy, reason to reconsider.
This is definitely a book that requires interaction and note-taking if you want to get the most out of it. Within each chapter are themed challenges that draw on the work that is covered. These challenges are designed to ease you into understanding how it applies to your life.
What I appreciated most from this book was the authorís highlighting of womenís issues such as trying to find time and energy to be creative while also being a caretaker of young children (Secret #5, Committing to Self-Focus). Another issue she covered was taking the creative self seriously.
This book is a good primer for the person who is exploring her or his creativity for the first time. The more experienced creative might find some of the information redundant. A moderately quick read, the authorís writing voice is clear and easy to fall into a reading rhythm with.
I picked up this book hoping to find new avenues of accessing my own muse who can be a bit fickle at times. What I received was solid advice on the basics of living a creative life. While there are edgier books out there on creativity, none that I have read have combined the wisdom of 45 different creative lives and that alone makes it well worth a read.
Buy this book at Amazon!