Non Fiction Book Review: Called to Be Creative

Called to Be Creative by Mary Potter Kenyon

Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity
by Mary Potter Kenyon (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

This book explores what it means to be creative, and how to unleash your own creative energies. There are tips for exploring different arts or hobbies, and advice on gaining confidence and taking risks. I love how this book encourages the reader to try new things, learn from failure, and embrace anything and everything creative!

The authors spends a lot of time talking about her mother and how creative she was, including excerpts from her mother’s journals and photos of her mother’s artwork. I was not expecting this book to be quite so autobiographical, and I got bored with the long stories about the author’s family.

I enjoyed all of the inspirational quotes about creativity and art from famous people like Thomas Moore, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Anne Dillard, and even Albert Einstein. There is an entire chapter about gratitude and how that sparks other good things in your life.

At the end of each chapter there are little one page bios of people who discovered their creative spark in some unique way. I found those a little boring too, and mostly skipped them. If you like stories about Granny’s old furniture and going camping with the grandkids, then you might enjoy them.

There are also activities that you can do at the end of each chapter. You can color a pattern, write a letter, make a vision board, create a mind map, or complete a meditative writing exercise. These activities were okay, but didn’t get me particularly excited or inspired.

I guess this book just wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted more practical tips on being creative. I wanted lists of things to try. I wanted a workbook to fill in. There is some good advice and some tips, but so much of the book is stories about other people, and how they were born and got married and had kids and died leaving behind a marvelous legacy of creativity. Okay, yay for them. I didn’t want a biographical book. I wanted a “How To” book.

The focus of this book is the author’s OWN journey through creativity, but I wanted to take MY journey, not hear about someone else’s. And a lot of this book is about mothers finding time to be creative, and I’m not a mother so I can’t relate to a great deal of the book.

There are some very good tips and excellent advice in this book, but it’s buried under all the stories about things I didn’t care about. The writing is excellent. The story-telling is great. The author does a great job exploring many different aspects of creative flow. It just wasn’t for me.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.

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