Over the years, I’ve reflected that a considerable number of the people producing and making use of these pragmatic guides to lifelong creative practice are women.In my view, this has been reason enough for some people to regard them with disdain.
I would read every chapter in The Habit of Wildness. On some level, Gracie, like many of the writers I’ve been discussing, wants to help people live more fully and meaningfully, develop more expansive inner lives.
She is crafting tools, not toys, even when she blurs that categorical line with her ingenuity and vision.
How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci rode in on a wave of books in the “bestselling tradition” of The Artist’s Way.
Books that offered a programmatic approach to mining your full creative potential.
It hardly needs introduction as the model for many other creative self-help books.
It’s a 12-week course that includes such exercises as:and so on.
This was a simple tool—Writers Hate Her for This One Weird Trick—that made it possible to begin at any moment.
I would set a timer for ten minutes and just pour out as much as possible during that time. By my own measure, I proceeded to have a prolific year, a transformative period of apprenticeship. And no wonder, since it’s been humping along with its heavy cargo of received ideas for centuries: demonic/godly inspiration; radical, immoral individualism; wild and monumental and mostly male genius.
That seemed a lot more exciting to me than whatever I was doing at school, which I rejected in the way only an authority-hating teenager can: I craved rules, regulations, and programs but resented any actual flesh-and-blood person trying to impose them on me.
I longed to cultivate my potential in private, away from the judgments of the adult world—a world, it goes without saying, that could not be trusted. Whether carrying out da Vincian exercises meant to strengthen “the essential elements of genius, from curiosità, the insatiably curious approach to life, to connessione, the appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things” or developing an abundance mentality as recommended by The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it all felt very active, like I was doing something for myself, thinking about what mattered in life.