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Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life by Natalie Goldberg

Mastering Creative Anxiety

A few years ago, I took an online course via DailyOm from creativity coach and psychologist Dr. Eric Maisel called Creative Anxiety. Fortunately, the wonderful folks at New World Library have published them all in the handy book Mastering Creative Anxiety. Here's an excerpt below, from the chapter titled "The Anxiety of Individuality":

Mastering Creativity is an expression of individuality, an expression of a person’s desire to manifest her potential, to speak in her own voice, to have her opinions, and to do her own work. What distinguishes the creative person from other people is her felt sense of individuality. Many people are born conventional and find it easy to follow the crowd; only some people are born with a strong desire to assert their individuality. All the personality traits that creative manifest, from a risk-taking orientation to a need for solitude—the more than seventy-five traits that have been described in the creativity literature—flow from this single core quality: the need to assert individuality.

A person born individual will, within a few years of her birth, feel that difference as she looks around her and is unable to understand why the people she sees are acting so conventionally. As a result she is likely to feel alienated, out of place, like a stranger in a strange land. Even if she trains herself to hold her tongue and engage in conventional work, and individual of this sort will already know as a young child that she can’t really conform and that she wasn’t built to conform.

To purchase Mastering Creative Anxiety from Amazon, click here. To visit the author's website, click here. To visit the publisher's website, click here.

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