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.

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Interesting book

Maybe that's because I am in the middle of changing towns and jobs that the Step two does resonate with me...
I am trying to cut all the unnecessary things in my life to leave as much bagage behind as possible and also to carve off more time for creativity.

My perfect creative life would probably be a mixed one. As much as I would love not to work and write all day, I know that I need the company of others or I get cabin fever.
So an independently wealthy life (working on that), doing volunteer jobs half of the time and writing fiction the rest of the time!

However, I discovered when I started acting on my writing impulses that the more you use your creativity, the more creativity you get... which leads to a lot of projects in my house ;-)

PS: Welcome back, I missed your posts

The perfect creative life...

would involve lots of neat office and art supplies of course. An open airy space with lots of light and room for artwork. And a cozy darker space with a fireplace and a comfy armchair/couch for reading/writing. And time, the most critical factor. Time to think, time to just be, time to create, time to spread my art supplies all over the place and let things happen, time to walk down to a neat little coffee shop and chat with all of the other creative people who would just happen to be there when I need a caffeine and people fix. There is no place like that in my small town so it looks like this would involve moving, a new job or a great lottery ticket, and a line of credit a Levenger.

Wow, this sounds like a

Wow, this sounds like a wonderful book!

My "perfect creative" life would be a balance between my family (and 3 small kids and husband) and having the time and energy to sit down and write productively while still having the time to craft a bit. The idea of being able to just sit down and write when the moment strikes and not when everything else is taken care of seems so far away to me right now.

Sigh

My perfect creative life would require that I not have a job. I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Once I'm done working, I have very little energy left to do the creative things I crave, writing and painting. Were I able not to work for a living, I could be as creative as I wished and still be able to sleep the required number of hours and take care of myself so as not to be overworked. As is, I am going on sabbatical (finally!) so I'll be able to live the creative life for 12 months. I cannot wait!

Boy, Did This Come At the Right Moment

I'm retired from an exacting type career. I'm the Chair for the Finance Committee of my Home Owner Assoc. Never thought I was creative. Now that I'm on my spiritual journey, (that didn't fit in my exacting world either) I'm looking at life, nature more. I feel lacking, or "I can't do it", but my teachings say that is not the truth and to fully express the good, I must grow and stretch. Being open, creative in different ways is part of it.

Picked up a drawing kit from Costco and a Pentel Color Brush online. Still drawing stick figures, but I'm taking the time to look and see things differently.

Glad you are back.

creative life

Tournevis - I feel for you, I too have fibromyalgia (luckily not the chronic fatigue) and am well enough to work but most of my free time is taken up with taking care of myself with sleep. I would love to have the time/energy to knit and embroider without wondering what else would have to give - my perfect creative life would have enough money to live without a steady job, time for handwork, reading, gardening plus the time to get the sleep I need.

Thanks.

Thanks.

The Creative Life

For me the perfect creative life would be living in a cabin in the Adirondacks writing. We vacationed there when I was a kid and I always thought wouldn't it be great to live here! My life now, especially at my job where I spend most of my time every day, seems to be a stream of constant interruptions. A calmer, quieter life would be more conducive to creativity.

Ah, Dreams of a Creative Life

Let me echo the previous commenter's statements about how timely this book seems and how appropriate to my struggles with creativity and writing.

I used to write almost every day when I was in college. But, when I got out of school, I was quickly sucked into the working world, opting to pay creditors rather than write. The energy I threw into my career did pay off, however, and I do quite well. Unfortunately, the cost was that I hardly write at all any more.
After a slight case of cancer last year, however, I'm doing my best to live my dreams today, in case tomorrow never arrives. Some days are better than others.

My perfect creative life would be to write enough, well enough, and sell it all, so that I might live comfortably off my writing. It would include me being a bit of a vagabond at least part of the year, on the road with my digital camera, laptop, cellular modem and solar panels to run it all. It would be me sending my work electronically to editors from mountain tops in Tibet, cafes in Paris, shady hotels in Hong Kong, bierhaus in Germany, coffee shops in Cairo, and bookstores in New York, Chicago and all parts of Texas. It would be me, living as an updated version of Hemingway and Hunter Thompson and Kerouac all in one.

Hmm, maybe that's too much to put all on one book? In any case, I hope Write Free would help get me writing again, with less effort and fewer blocks than I have now.
It sounds like a great book.

The perfect creative life

When my children were growing there was too much to do -- growing managerial career, house to maintain, bills to pay, etc. -- and I did not enjoy my children. They are grown and out of the house.... But God is gracious and allowed me to become a grandfather. Life has a different perspective now than it did thirty years ago. My best vacation days have involved such things as jumping from rock to rock in a mountain stream, watching bugs crawl along the ground, sitting in our tree house listening to the wind. The perfect creative life for me would be to spend each day with one or more of my five grandchildren... seeing the world with their childlike wonder... drawing, painting, reading, sharing life.

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity

New beginnings . . .

(whew, I copied this when I realized I had not logged in - I guess we all need to be reminded - log in before commenting - I nearly lost my post!)

Innowen, welcome back - I've missed your funny and thoughtful observations on the creative life for this past month, and when I clicked on the DIYP link to see what was going on, and saw the picture of this book, my heart made a happy little leap. This looked like something you would post . . . . "She's back!", I thought.

I think this is a funny time for many of us - my husband and I sell real estate (in Portland), so you can imagine what our current market and economy has done to our livelihood. In the current downturn, he is turning back to his construction background, doing remodels and so forth for acquaintances (and for us . . . we've been remodeling our little home for four years - all the years of our marriage, between real estate deals and real life - I call it the longest camping trip in history).

I just had a hysterectomy in late February, and the recovery is going well. If there were a time to be out of commission (no pun intended), this current market is it! At least we're not missing opportunities while I can't easily show a lot of properties! This downtime has given me a lot of time to consider other means of making a living, including writing, which I have always enjoyed. What would be the ideal life, and allow me to make the necessary contribution to my little household? I have a lot of thoughts I'd love to share with others, and enjoy finding the whimsy and joy in everyday living. I have been giving serious consideration to starting a blog on alternate ways of looking at the current environment of thought, in regard to real estate and the economy, but also considering the rest of life. Real estate is a business which is about all aspects of our clients' lives - the financial investment is important, but the kinds of homes our clients choose have very profound effects on what kind of a lives they are able to lead. Matching our clients with likely candidate homes is an intricate and demanding process. Understanding the components of a balanced life and what kind of impact home has on them makes us better agents - I would love to begin writing about these issues for clients and for others who may find the conversation interesting. This book sounds as if it may give me the impetus I need to explore the potential opportunity writing would offer. If I don't win the book, I will add it to my wish list! It sounds like it is tailor-made to answer many of my current questions!

Best wishes to everyone who has written to share their plans for this book - sounds like there will be a lot of happy people, once we've each gotten ourselves a copy, one way or another! It sounds like a very promising investment in a happy life.

I need this book!

So glad you're back, I didn't have to wait as long as i feared! And with a book that looks like it's been written for me. I'm longing to write more and I need help with a lot of personal issues. Anyway, if there is a perfect creative life, I think all I need to add to the life I'm living are the ingredients of more energy, a room with a big desk (that studio we're all dreaming about) and someone paying me for what I do every day! ;-)

What's missing in your creative life to make it perfect? I'm curious.

/Hanna

http://www.ihanna.nu/blog

Write Free & The Secret

Let me add my ditto to your return. Kinda like missing a member of the family.

There is a dvd available from Netflix (and the other usual suspects) called "The Secret" which discusses The Law of Attraction. It's not great but does broach the subject in a basic way. It is not a "how-to" guide and I certainly wouldn't suggest buying it: just another tool to use on the path.

Throw my name in the hat.

Thanks. Mark