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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7 Comments on "A First Look at Eric Maisel’s Making Your Creative Mark"

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Melissa Marsh
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06/12/2013 08:06

Since I have started taking a drug for my rheumatoid arthritis, I have noticed one of the unfortunate side effects is a racing mind. It’s made it quite difficult to focus on certain days and harder to write. So I have to really concentrate on concentrating! Ha!

This looks like an intriguing book. Will have to check it out.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
06/12/2013 08:08

Sorry to hear about that side effect, Melissa.  I think sometimes with all the distractions we all face, we all need to concentrate on concentrating!  And I do recommend the book, or any of Maisel's works.

Don
Guest
06/12/2013 19:12

“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.”

Amen to the above!!!!

J.D.
Guest
J.D.
06/13/2013 04:46

I haven’t heard of Mr. Maisel, but I have to check him out. My mind no longer races. Now it simply lacks gumption. I feel I should hoist it up like it were a drunk who was the only witness to a murder and slap it a few times, just to wake it up. No more sparks flying around like in my younger days, but I have plenty of negativity. My poor head isn’t brave. I need to work harder and squash my naysayers.

J.D.
Guest
J.D.
06/13/2013 04:49

Maybe you can harness that mental energy, direct it into your writing. I hope so. First, I hope the medicine helps your arthritis.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
06/13/2013 07:29

I agree, which is why I have gone back to this chapter over and over again.  Managing self-talk is a constant job that needs attention every minute.  It does get easier over time, but it takes devotion.  And it is SO important for creators!

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
06/13/2013 07:31

Yeah, you do need to squash those negativities, J.D., especially because I know what a good writer you are.  That negative crap can stop you from writing, from sending things out, from the success you desire as a writer.  You might enjoy Maisel's books–he's got a gazillion of them and they are all good.

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