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How to Be Creative

March 11, 2015

Today I’m going to tell you about a book which has been written for people who want to feel content with their lives. That’s all of us, right? But what if I tell you its title first?

This book is called How to Be Creative.



I bet quite a few of you are already thinking – “creativity is not for me”, “I have no imagination”, “I’ve never been good at that stuff” etc. Rubbish! As the author – Liz Dean, has correctly pointed out creativity is our “natural need” and it can’t stay suppressed forever. So I hope you are ready to “rediscover your creativity and live the life you truly want”?

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   I devoured this book in just a few days. First of all, I loved the way it’s written – easy to follow chunks of information supported by all kinds of psychological studies, historical facts and even wise quotes, illustrated with pretty #’ drawings. Secondly, I found so many familiar topics – for e.g. creativity and deadlines, self-acceptance, boredom, procrastination, acknowledgement and approval…
   I’ve read this book, but I will definitely be exploring it over a longer period of time. I believe it can help me continue changing my life. I’d love to turn creative approach into my daily attitude, so I plan to try out various exercises Liz has suggested in her How to Be Creative.
Amy Louise Evans

Illustration by Amy Louise Evans

   If I were to tell you just a few tips, that could get your creative juices flowing, it would be advice based on my own experience, it’s just that Liz managed to put everything into writing – play or “allow yourself the space to have fun”, get rid of pressure to create a masterpiece, manage your time wisely, be brave and simply do something – “if we do nothing, all we learn is the art of procrastination”, keep a diary – it will “help you foster a regular habit of writing and creativity” and dissolve your creative blocks by changing the way you think.
Illustration by Amy Louise Evans

Illustration by Amy Louise Evans

   Talking about creativity blocks… Here’s a very good example.
   According to Liz “not having enough time is one the greatest blocks of creativity, yet it’s often self-imposed”. I bet some of you are shaking your heads in disapproval, as it’s really hard to agree with the second part of that statement. I think that not enough time is the most common excuse not to do something, yet for some of us it has become an automatic response.
   Whenever my friends tell me that they like something I’ve created, this is followed by their next sentence – “I’m far too busy for such things” or a question – “when do you find the time?”.

My question would be - What's sucking up your time?

My question would be – What’s vacuuming up your time?

   I must admit I am guilty of the same reaction, as I have so many unfulfilled projects in my head that are stored for later… But recently I’ve started being firmer with myself – I drop my everyday chores and spend at least an hour doing something that I like. Trust me, it’s not easy (yet necessary).
Illustration by Amy Louise Evans

Illustration by Amy Louise Evans

   Follow Liz’s advice and have a closer look at how long you spend on certain activities. I’m sure that you will find quite a few that are eating up your precious minutes and sometimes even hours! Creative projects “give us energy”, so they should become a very important part of our life.
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   Summing it up – this is a wonderful book for everyone who admires creative people, who wishes to be just like them – happy, playful and inventive. It will help you change your attitude and improve your life.
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How to Be Creative by Liz Dean, illustrated by Amy Louise Evans, published by CICO Books

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2015 9:57 am

    This is tremendous. And so true! I’ve found art to be healing for body and spirit. I’m getting a hold of this book. Thank you for sharing, and good for you for taking an hour a day for yourself! We can’t help others if we don’t take care of ourselves first!

    • March 12, 2015 7:12 pm

      I do agree that art can heal body and spirit, I hope you can find at least a few hours a week to express your creativity, but of course the more, the better… Liz Dean’s How to Be Creative is a comprehensive manual that teaches how to change our lives, I loved it and I think you’ll find it useful too. Kristina

  2. March 11, 2015 11:20 am

    Just doing away with the notion that you have to finish all of your chores before you can play is a huge help. Because face it, you’re NEVER done with all the chores….

    • March 12, 2015 6:59 pm

      Finishing all my chores before I do something that I like used to be my philosophy, but I’m learning to swap it with something different. Dirty floor won’t run away and the urge to paint might. I got fed up with feeling too tired to draw, knit, sew, glue etc. after running around the house with the vacuum cleaner… I admit I sometimes feel guilty, as some of my activities might seem useless (for e.g. making driftwood lighthouse or tiny bunting to decorate one of the house plants), but these days I’m trying to convince myself that I deserve some fun time as well. K.

      • March 12, 2015 9:22 pm

        Yeah, that guilt thing really needs intensive reprogramming.

  3. March 11, 2015 5:00 pm

    Thanks K, nice post.
    I don’t have trouble being creative,but in certain phases of my life, I had trouble making a living from it. In those years I completed the ‘Artist’s Way’ 12 week program twice, and any number of self help books about art, creativity, money, productivity, self- empowerment. It is tempting to say they don’t help, they never did make much difference to my career per se.

    But looking back, it wasn’t one particular book that helped, but tidbits culled from them all. I really did manage to change a lot of habits and become more productive in certain things (wrote and published an award winning book). So depending on how much one actually puts into practice the wisdom of these self-help books, they really can help to change one’s life for the better.
    And it never stops.Personal and creative growth and expansion, I mean.

    • March 12, 2015 7:27 pm

      In my word creativity and making a living from it don’t go together. I don’t know if this is bad or good, yet… as I still hope to sell something one day. Maybe I don’t know anything about business? (My creations usually leave our house as presents.) I guess I should be happy that I can afford to create for the sake of creating or simply having fun. Maybe if I had to make something for a living it wouldn’t come out right?

      I do agree that there can’t be a single “recipe”, we need to continue to enlarge our knowledge drawing it from various streams and How to Be Creative is definitely one of them. K.

      P.S. By the way, I’ve finally bought Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work. I’m slowly analyzing it as well.

  4. nexi permalink
    March 12, 2015 10:34 am

    Great post – love the vacuum….

    • March 12, 2015 7:00 pm

      Thank you for stopping by. Really glad you liked this review and my illustration. Kristina

  5. March 14, 2015 5:20 pm

    I like your vacuuming of the smart phone apps. That’s mostly what I replaced with my colouring. Reaching another level of Candy Crush Saga doesn’t relax me, playing with pens and pencils does! Another good book you have there 🙂 x

    • March 16, 2015 6:26 pm

      Glad to hear you like my illustration. After I’ve read the book I wanted to be creative, but it’s not very easy – you can’t simply turn it on and off. After a few days of serious thinking the hoovered image was born! By the way, I love your colouring books, I wonder if I’d have the patience to finish at least one page completely, as I never had when I was a kid. K. xxx


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