Review: Write Free, Attracting the Creative Life
Editor's note: Hey everyone, yes... I'm back. I took all of last month to get my mind and life back in order. My husband treated me to a wonderful weekend escape to the coast, I am a bit more secure in what my new job asks of me, and I'm growing accustomed to having one less furry beast running around in the house. Thank you all for the warm wishes and support during my "time" away from DIY Planner. While I didn't respond to every comment from my last post, I did read them all.
One of my 2008 goals is to continue to build on my creative and writing life. I want writing and art to seep from every aspect of my being and help me grow as a writer and artist in this world. However, occasionally the daily grind of errands, doctor's appointments, and laundry push back the available time I want to devote to this practice. Then I heard about Write Free, by Rebecca Lawton and Jordan E. Rosenfeld. The title immediately drew me in. Finally, a book proposing to help concretely build, maintain, and attract a fully functioning creative lifestyle.
Write Free is an amazing guide into the world of the Law of Attraction. The The Law of Attraction, which isn't really a real law in the scientific sense, states that your thoughts (both conscious and unconscious), all the positive and negative emotions that run around in your head, help bring them into reality. For example, if I want a particular job, but send them my resume and think that they'll never call me back because I'm not good enough, smart enough, or just didn't think the phone interview went well enough, then the end result is that they won't call me and I will probably not get the job. Conversely, if I've submitted an essay for publication in a book and know that I've written a smart and thought provoking piece that'll help add to the book's premise and discussion, then when I submit the essay, all that good thinking and energy will aid it in being chosen for the space in the anthology. Yes, I realize that these two ideas are very generalized versions of the actual law in motion, but they do illustrate how this law works on a basic level. Books and movies, like "The Secret," have helped to propel this notion into the public eye and if you want to learn more about this idea, you can refer to those references for more information and illustrations on how this principle works.
Write Free expands on the law of attraction by showing how you can use it to bring about more creativity and writing into your life (or art, if visual works are more your thing). In the introduction, the authors mention that to write free means: "writing done in an open-minded, openhearted state of consciousness... and that it expresses the state of writing our deepest desires." With this definition in mind, the book then becomes a workshop where they use personal stories and exercises to help you define what it means to be creative and how to live a "more fulfilling and sustaining creative life."
The book follows a four step outline to show you just how to do this. Each step of the process builds off the other and has the ultimate goal on freeing your mind from negativity which will allow you to focus on only the work and parts of a creative life that you want to include.
First, they take you through a cleansing process, that allows you to get rid of unwanted feelings ad thoughts. Lawton and Rosenfeld believe that in order to get what you want, you need to get rid of the feelings and things you do not want. Therefore, exercises in this section revolve around dealing with negative thoughts and how to turn them into positive counterparts. Once you've learned how to transform the negative thoughts into positive ones, the next step of this process is to figure out what you want in your life. They call this step revising, because it shows you what to cut or remove from your life so that you can begin living the life you want to have. So all the exercises in this section help you to define the life you want to have. You create the activities, thoughts, people, works, etc. here. Step three, teaches you how to focus on the positive in your life. The exercises here help motivate and inspire you to dream big and take small steps to reach your goals. Finally, the last step is to literally write free... to indulge in your imagination and use the power of positive thought to manifest your dreams into reality.
Each chapter begins with a story that happened to one (or both) of the authors that helps to illustrate the point the chapter teaches. The rest of the chapter, then, contains many exercises, or games, that give you the opportunity to explore how the principle works and affects your life. Now, if you've been on this site long enough, you'll realize that I love books that contain questions that can be used for journal prompts. This book does not disappoint. There are many games to try out and answer. What I also like is that Lawton and Rosenfeld do take you through an example of each exercise so you get an idea of how to perform the task that they're asking you to take.
Write Free contains one of the more interesting approaches to creativity and the writing life that I've read in a long time. I was amazed at the depth of personal experience and exercises that went into composing this manuscript. If you're into new ways of recapturing the writing/creative life, I highly recommend you get this book. If you are interested in exploring exercises that will help you build up your creative life, then you'll love this book. Bottom line is that this book will help you train your thoughts to aid your creative goals and endeavors with the power of positive thinking. Unfortunately, it's not available on Amazon.com but if you click the links to the book's image and title, you can get a copy directly from the publishers themselves.
The publishers were kind enough to send me two review copies. One of them has been lightly marked up with ideas and thoughts that I used to help me write this review. The other one, tells me that it would like a new home. Therefore, I'm going to run a contest. Between now and my next post, those of you who are intrigued about this book and want a copy of it will need to comment on this post with what you think would be your perfect creative life is.
I'll put all entrants' names into a hat and then draw one lucky winner. I'll post the winner on my next post and contact them for their home address. The book, will get shipped out by USPS if you're in the United States or cheapest air mail if you're located anywhere else in the world.