I picked The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women up on a whim for 50% off what are already delightfully low book prices at Goodwill. This is not the sort of book I usually buy. Maybe 10% of books I read are non-fiction and those are usually not so screamingly self-help. I don’t mean to disparage the genre. I’ve read some life-changing books of this sort, but aside from a binge I went on between the ages of 16 and 18 and my final year of college when I read five books on anxiety hoping to put and end to increasingly crippling panic attacks, I don’t tend to like them very much and they almost always go on longer than they should.
Though this book did go on longer than I wanted it to, I remained engaged and inspired through the first seven secrets. McMeekin manages to write good advice based on her own experience and the experience of women she interviewed and successfully spin that advice in a cultural context of who we are as women and to what extent we can reclaim our individual spirit in a culture perfectly happy to let us submerge our own creative urges for any perceived collective good. Each chapter covers one of the twelve secrets and moves through describing and analyzing to an exercise for the reader to use to reflect and set goals. The margins throughout the book are filled with quotes on all of the twelve topics. I found myself circling the ones I liked best or drawing a little heart next to the quote.
I skimmed the last five secrets as McMeekin at this point got a bit too prescriptive for me in her calling for logs and charts and hair-splittling list of feelings. Ironically, I think that sort of thing just zaps my creative energy and takes my creative time.
But I LOVED the parts that just mused and the book is worth a read at least for that.
From the margin of page 97: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deep fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” –Marianne Williamson, Writer