There are a lot of ‘self-help’ books out there. Most give generic life advice to ‘normal’ kinds of people. But for creative types, the kind of people who live life a little bit differently, this generic advice doesn’t apply. Creatives need their own special words of wisdom in order to thrive in this strange world.
Things Are What You Make Of Them – Life Advice For Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz speaks the creative language very clearly. It inspired and motivated me to continue with my creative work, even though sometimes it can be rough on the psyche. When you’re working from the heart, there’s a lot of internal pressure to make things ‘perfect’, and this book helped sooth those rough thoughts into something more manageable.
An interesting physical characteristic of the book is that the pages are perforated so they can be removed and hung up for inspiration anywhere in your creative space. I haven’t removed any of the pages yet, but some of the concepts have really hit home for me and I’m thinking about tearing these out.
“What’s the point?” – in this part, Adam reflects on the need to connect as the motivation for creating art. As an introvert, I usually find my motivation in creating for myself – because I want to see it made. But, on further reflection, I realized that the purpose is to eventually have someone else see it, or why make it at all?
“Celebrate” – make sure to join in the joy of others accomplishments. I liked this notion in particular simply because I enjoy seeing other people in joy. And, as an introvert, I want to seek out more opportunities to see people in joy.
“Be Accountable” – this is my number one weakness: talking (or thinking) about doing things and then never doing them. This happens to me all the time – “Don’t let planning the thing trick your brain into thinking you’ve done it.” I still struggle with this weakness. If you have some advice, PLEASE leave it in the comments below!
“Write your Manifesto” – Adam recommends this step go hand in hand with accountability. He feels that writing something down is a huge step in making your goal a real and tangible thing. I completely agree and have started working on my ‘5-year plan’ – I just need to pick the right font.
Overall the book was very insightful and made me reflect on my creative self and my motivations as a creative, as well as my strengths and weaknesses. In it, I also found some good advice on how to become a more well rounded creative. It’s an easy read and I think it would be a great addition to anyone’s library.