A First Look at Eric Maisel’s Making Your Creative Mark

Eric Maisel is practically a one-man industry.  Well, he invented an industry–that of creativity coaching.  In his own creativity coaching practice, he’s worked with MacArthur fellows, best-selling authors, Academy Award winners, painters, musicians, all kinds of creators.  And not only that, he’s written books–tons of ’em, several of which I have read and enjoyed.

So when his publicist at New World Library offered me his latest book, Making Your Creative Mark: Nine Keys to Achieving Your Artistic Goals to review, I enthusiastically said yes.

But I have a confession to make.  I’ve not gotten past the first few pages of the first chapter, which is titled, The Mind Key.

And this is not because the book is bad and boring.  It’s quite the opposite, in fact.  He’s got a list of nine tips for mastering your mind I found so helpful that I go back and re-read them every time I pick up the book.  Which is why I’m still on chapter one.

Why is mind mastery so important?  I’ll let Maisel tell you:

“Creating depends on having a mind quiet enough to allow ideas to bubble up.  Living a successful, healthy life as an artist requires that your self-talk align with  your goals and your aspirations.  Your job is to quiet your mind and extinguish negative self-talk.  These are your two most important tasks if you want a shot at your best life in the arts.”  (emphasis mine)

How about that, huh?  Huh?  Wouldn’t you agree with him?  I would.  Here are a couple of the tips he shares:

–Recognize you are the only one who can get a grip on your mind

–Listen to what you say to yourself

–Decide if what you are telling yourself serves you

–When you decide that a thought doesn’t serve you, dispute it and dismiss it

And so on (each tip is followed with more information on it that I didn’t include here).

I love this stuff.  I love reading about mastering the mind and mindset because it is at the basis of everything we do and create.  But too often, the only recommendation people give is to try positive thinking, which doesn’t work when it’s just covering up negative thinking. The reason I keep going back to Maisel’s tips are because they are specific and actionable (I know, I sort like a productivity expert).

So, anyway, I thought I’d go ahead and give you a heads up about the book in case you want to check it out.  I am planning to write more about the rest of the book, once I can manage to pull myself out of chapter one.

What are your thoughts on mindset?  How do you train your mind for the work you need to do?

New World Library sent me a review copy of the book, but the thoughts expressed are mine.

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