135journals Book Club: The Muse is In, An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity, By Jill Badonsky.

29 May

The Muse is In, An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity. By Jill Badonsky.




Creating art on the High Line in Manhattan.

Doing art on the Highline in Manhattan–fun for the kids AND grown-ups.


The Muse Is In, published by Perseus in 2013,  is a great book for people who are feeling uncreative. The  packs a lot in here. Incredibly charming illustrations that are tiny, loose and zany enough to make anyone feel as if they could do something similar (although it seems to me that they are done with great skill and technique), and she also addresses the stuck artist in us all with addressing the psychological issues of how to become more creative as well as techniques on how to unblock-yourself. For example, She says everyone gets to be creative, she shows creativity’s fringe benefits, helps the reader to get in an optimal state of mind (including taking TINY steps, perservere, love yourself, and being unafraid to fail.) But in addition to these helpful tips, she also includes a creativity idea for every day of the year. Many of them are prefaced by quotes from one famous creator or another. Just one example: “November 18:  B-day of novelist Margaret Atwood, whose last line of her novel “The Handmaid’s Tale, reads, “Are there any questions?” Write a piece,short or long, that also ends with that sentence.”

There are so many more—well, 364 of them. I just picked one short one, but some of them are far more inventive. The book is packed with delicious quotations about creativity, about using your own memories, trying new ways of looking at things, being unafraid. I know so many creative people, and often, they end up using that creativity in the service of their work—or worse, not using it at all, but being ground down by work and other obligations. If a person did one of these exercises a month—some of which would only take a few minutes–she’d be btter off for it. I enjoy books of this inspire-your-creativity very much, and this book is one of the best I’ve read. I don’t know what I enjoyed more—the images, the quotations, the ideas, the compassion. But it’s a very rich book and I highly recommend it.


Writing Prompt: Are you feeling stuck? What is one tiny step you can take to get UNstuck?

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