From "Publishers Weekly"
Peppered with quizzes that challenge readers to examine their motivations and struggles, Maziarz helps creative types attack their roadblocks from multiple angles. Yes, there is some chakra-clearing involved, but the patchouli-tinged instructions are balanced by practical advice on dealing with naysayers, staying focused and time management that will appeal to those who respond better to reason than emotion. Though her concepts aren't exactly new--self-knowledge gained through introspection leads to a more productive, rewarding life--Maziarz's encouraging tone and practical, common-sense approach should resonate even with skeptics." Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From "Midwest Book Review"
Through Mary Beth Maziarz's Kick-Ass Creativity, it provides the electrifying jolt needed to make the most of your creative talents. It overflows with positive energy that will have you making time for that activity you have long neglected. Kick-Ass Creativity provides a way to unblock creative thoughts and allow your talent to shine. It will provide you the positive enforcement that you need to offer the world your artistic talent.
Kick-Ass Creativity is a no holds barred look at reviving you into a take charge individual. It encourages you to see how the world is lacking if you don't allow you artist talent to shine. -- Suzie Housley. Midwest Book Review, May 2010.
"Real Person" Review of the Month
This book just works. Learn to harness energy in order to create [May 9, 2010]
The fact that I'm writing this review, or even attempting to write this review, is a testament to the power of Mary Beth Maziarz's book, "Kick-Ass Creativity: An Energy Makeover for Artists, Explorers, and Creative Professionals." As the title suggests, the book is about more than creativity - it's about charging your personal energy and connecting to an external, higher source of inspiration that will make your work happen. It's about using the spiritual laws of the universe to turn your current ideas into realities and to come up with new, potentially groundbreaking, ideas for future work. The book is essential for any open-minded creator who wants to take his productive, creative powers to another level.
In the first half of "Kick-Ass Creativity," the author reviews the key concepts and principles of energy, such as discovering our motivational desires, maintaining positivity, manifesting wants, opening to receive, quieting the mind, developing focus, and entering flow/intuitive states, etc. These principles apply to all areas of life and really do work. In the second half of the book, she shows the reader how to apply these principles to their creative endeavors - be it report writing for their corporate job or sculpting. Her combination of theory and advice for practical application is perfect.
Read this book, do the exercises, amplify the energy that is already inside you, connect with the energy of the universe, and bring your ideas to life.
My story - why this book worked for me: I am a PhD student who has been suffering from a severe case of writer's block - so severe, in fact, that I had to leave my home in Hawaii and spend five months in the mountains of Utah to overcome it. In 2005, after a successful first year in my doctoral program at the University of Hawaii, my mother (only 54 at the time) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The toll that her year and a half of sickness and subsequent death took on my life is beyond words. My academic pursuits all but ceased. Prior to my mom's sickness, I was a well-spring of research ideas and theoretical insights and a powerhouse of implementation. Afterwards, it was as if my idea faucet turned off and my productive machinery broke down. Writing became practically impossible for me. I knew with all my heart that I was supposed to get my degree, but I was incapable of doing the biggest, most essential thing that graduate students do - write.
When I moved to Utah this January, I began snowboarding - what "Kick-Ass Creativity" would call a flow activity. I had read "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and like Mary Beth and Mihaly would have predicted, this activity and my time away from my school work and worries about writing was very helpful to me. I couldn't totally explain why at the time, but I just knew that far from being a bum by heading to my mountain a few times a week, I was doing something good for myself by snowboarding and that it was going to help me make progress on my degree. Over the past four months, I have read several books on positive psychology, writing, and spirituality to help fill my brain with practical knowledge for mental health and writing techniques, recenter myself, and redevelop the creative/productive person I used to be. (If you're looking for pure spirituality books, BTW, I highly recommend anything written by Sanaya Roman. For positive psychology, check out "The Resilience Factor" or books by Martin Seligman.)
All these activities were helping me, but I still found that I was muscling my way through the papers I needed to write for school. I decided that I needed to find some guidance on how to connect the things I was (re)learning about spirituality (principles I'd know, but had eschewed when my mom died) to my writing. It was then that Mary Beth's book found me. The author happens to live in the town where I am staying and when I went to our local bookstore there was a sign for her book on the front door, and with one glance at the title and table of contents, I knew it was what I needed. The entire book spoke to me, but the key point that made a major impact on me was that we're not in this creativity thing alone. When we create anything, it's not just us doing the work.
Einstein and Edison knew this. They would use times of silence and 'mediation' to come up with ideas that no one had ever thought of before. They would synthesize their 'intuition' with their intellect and the result was history-changing inventions and theories. They would connect to a source outside of themselves, combine the knowledge they gained from this source with their own knowledge, and make significant and unique contributions to humanity. When I'm writing now, I imagine that I am like a Play-Doh fun factory. My human self is the star-shaped form on the little plate used to shape the doh coming out of the machine. All of my life experiences, all my my degrees (I like school), all of the books I've read, my socialization from childhood, and my culture, etc. made me into the shape of that star. What comes through that star, however, is not just my thoughts. It's ideas from a source beyond me. That may sound corny, but I don't really care because it works. When I think this way, I detach my ego and my critical judgments from my writing. I can create a rough draft! Something I've never done before in my life. It's a miracle. This way of thinking works, and who knows, maybe I am channeling the thoughts of some great social scientist...