cover image Creating from the Spirit

Creating from the Spirit

Dan Wakefield. Ballantine Books, $24 (321pp) ISBN 978-0-345-37430-1

""Clarity of mind, body, and spirit is the key to creativity,"" declares Wakefield (Expect a Miracle) at the start of this sage and affirming work. To help readers understand and embrace both clarity and its radiant offspring, creativity, Wakefield follows a carefully structured ""road map"" that begins with the debunking of several ""myths."" These include the ideas that creativity depends upon suffering and that the ability to be creative fades with age. The myth that gets the author's most passionate attention, though, is the belief that alcohol or drugs awaken creativity. Here, as elsewhere, Wakefield draws upon his own experiences, investing his text with a welcome and warming personal touch. Next comes an examination of processes Wakefield deems supportive of creativity--the acts of emptying oneself of egoism and of allowing oneself to be filled with ""spirit."" A series of exercises designed to nurture creativity follows. The book winds up with original statements by a variety of ""creators,"" from musician Judy Collins to writer Mark Matousek to telephone receptionist Karen Monti Lindo, on how they learned to free their own creative sparks, and concludes with commonsense advice on how to foster creativity at any moment of the day. Covering vital ground both theoretical and practical, this potentially life-changing work should appeal to the same wide readership as Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Author tour. (July)