Mastering Creative Anxiety

24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians, and Actors from America's Foremost Creativity Coach
by Eric Maisel | 272 pages

Eric Maisel is one of my favorite writers and teachers and thinkers. In addition to being one of the world’s leading creativity coaches (and therapists), he’s also an amazing exemplar of creativity—having written dozens of books on a broad range of subjects. Big Ideas we explore in this Note include the fact that anxiety goeswith anxiety (yes, “goeswith” = one word!), existential decisiveness and why it matters, enervators —> energizers, a cool mantra, cognitive restructuring and step 1 to creativity.


“Are you creating less often than you would like? Are you avoiding your creative work altogether? If so, anxiety may be the culprit! Anxiety regularly stops creative people in their tracks and makes their experience of creating more painful than pleasurable. It stops would-be creative people entirely, preventing them from realizing their dreams. Anxiety is the number one problem that creative people face—and yet few even realize it.

Do you procrastinate? That’s anxiety. Do you resist getting to your work or marketing your work? That’s anxiety. Do you have trouble deciding which creative project to tackle? That’s anxiety. Do you find completing your work hard? That’s anxiety. Anxiety permeates the creative process. Learn what do about it! In this book you’ll learn how to start and complete your creative projects without experiencing disabling anxiety. You’ll learn little-known anxiety-management techniques that can help enormously. And you’ll also learn what not to do in dealing with creative anxiety. …

The more you understand the sources of anxiety and learn how to hone your anxiety-management skills, the better you’ll be able to deal with the rigors of the creative process and the realities of the creative life. Get ready to create calmly!”

~ Eric Maisel from Mastering Creative Anxiety

Eric Maisel is one of my favorite writers and teachers and thinkers.

In addition to being one of the world’s leading creativity coaches (and therapists), he’s also an amazing exemplar of creativity—having written dozens of books on a broad range of subjects.

We’ve covered a couple of his other great books including Rethinking Depression and The Creativity Book. Check out those Notes for more of his wisdom.

This one, as you probably guessed from the title, is all about helping us master the anxiety that naturally arises when we aspire to create. Although geared toward “writers, painters, musicians, and actors,” it’s really a manual for ALL creative people. As I read it, I benefited as a writer, teacher AND entrepreneur.

Eric took a creative approach with the format of the book that I really enjoyed. There are twenty-four chapters in the book—each dealing with a different form of anxiety and a practical tool we can use to conquer it. Plus, and this is what I found particularly charming, each chapter has a “Teaching Tale” in which we enjoy a simple, short story that helps bring the wisdom home.

I really enjoyed the book and if you ever face anxiety as you create, I think you will as well. (Get the book here.) (And check out Creativity 101 for more on creating cool stuff. :)

Of course, it’s packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Eric Maisel

America's foremost creativity coach.