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Coaching the Artist Within [Paperback]

Eric Maisel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.50
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Frequently Bought Together

Coaching the Artist Within + Fearless Creating: A Step-by-step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art (Inner Work Book) + Creativity Book: A Years Worth of Inspiration and Guidance
Price For All Three: 40.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (28 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577314646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577314646
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Coaching The Artist Within shows people how to become more effective creators by guiding them through 12 self-coaching lessons. Eric Maisel writes each lesson with a novelist's flair, as a narrative complete with examples, exercises, and questions to help readers explore underlying issues that may be keeping them from pursuing their urge to create. Topics include committing, planning and doing, generating mental energy, achieving a centred presence, becoming an anxiety expert, upholding your dream, and maintaining a creative life.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The ability to effectively coach yourself hinges on your having enough space to positively influence yourself, to openly communicate with yourself, to carefully monitor yourself, and to regularly chat with yourself. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring in a practical sort of a way 8 Jun 2007
Eric Maisel is described as 'America's foremost creativity coach' and in this book he offers well-structured advice, illustrated with anecdotes and personal reflections on his many years of creativity coaching experience.

The book is divided into twelve sections - each one covering a skill that will help you along the path to becoming your own creativity coach. To give some examples, three of the skills he covers are: 'Passionately making meaning', 'Becoming an anxiety expert' and 'Creating in the middle of things'.

As with any self-coaching or personal development book, this is no quick fix, but the advice offered is full of common sense with a few artistic twists. All the books I've read so far on the creative process are unanimous in stating that, ultimately, it's a case of simply getting down to and getting on with the work. This book is no exception, but it includes an interesting extension to the theme by advocating positive forms of obsession. Maisel explores the fine line that divides emotional stability from instability when you're in the midst of a creative obsession. In those moments when you produce your most inspired work, how sane are you?

I found this book to be both practical and inspiring. So if you want to try a spot of creative self-coaching why not take a look?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 15 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have several things on the go, some paintings, a novel, an autobiography, but somehow time goes by and I find that I have done next to nothing on any of them. There isn't enough time, or I don't have a private space to lay out my glass palette with premixed oil colours, or I can't think what the next plot point is going to be. It leaves me feeling down-hearted and hopeless, to be honest. I work to keep my family housed and fed, but that in itself seems to leave life almost meaningless; it is necessary, but not sufficient. I am not saying I am walking around as a depressive, it is just that I have an urge to create something worthwhile, yet I never seem to do it.

Eric Maisel is the best antidote to this I have come across. He, more than any other writer, seems to understand what drives people like me, and what obstacles we put in our own way. He talks a lot about meaning, about having a meaningful, worthwhile life, and this meaning comes from creating things. He then gives a number of practical exercises to try, some of which will work for you, some won't, but there are enough ideas here for you to find some things that will. Since getting this book a week or so ago, I have restarted the autobiography (this is actually one of his exercises, as it happens) and finished the drawing of my current wildlife painting, which had been lying fallow for several months.

I found it invaluable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good helpful book 27 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
just what I needed the time,This book gives you a different perspective and helps positive solutions to blocks for artists Thank you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It might be a Start 3 Feb 2006
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on
Artists often find themselves dissatisfied with their creativity. Sometimes this is caused by a failure to articulate a satisfactory vision in their work. At other times, it is due to psychological factors that somehow prevent them from creating. It is to this latter condition that this book is addressed.

The author is a psychologist who bills himself as a creativity coach, and has written well over a dozen books about the subject. He says that creativity coaches "help clients to make and sustain meaning. They help creators deal with blockage, self-doubt, anxiety, fear of failure, worries about mistakes, and other issues that deal with creating."

After urging each artist to become his own self-coach in creativity, Maisel urges artists to develop a number of skills, each in a separate chapter, including passionately making meaning, eliminating dualistic thinking, generating mental energy, and achieving a centered presence. After describing the skill, he suggests tools for developing and enforcing the skills. For example, in the chapter on achieving a centered presence, he suggests deep breathing, while uttering mantra-like affirmations. Maisel finishes each chapter with a self-congratulatory story that shows how he helped someone develop the skill he has discussed.

Although the tools may seem a little touchy-feely to some, there is little doubt that some of the tools he suggests work in many cases. For example, many cognitive therapists now recognize the importance of affirmations.

On the other hand, the author isn't always able to provide clear help for dealing with a problem. For example, one of the skills he urges is creating in the middle of things. Most therapists and artists agree that you have to continue at your art, even though there are crises continually occurring. But it's hard to drain the swamp when you are surrounded by alligators. Maisel essentially says, "Suck it up". But if we were able to persevere through difficulties, we wouldn't be looking at this book.

One of the problems with this book is that it makes it seem simple to overcome the psychological barriers to creativeness. It would be quite an accomplishment if that could be done with the help of a book of about 200 pages with plenty of white space and anecdotes. There probably are people out there who can read this little book and overcome the obstacles they face. It is more likely that the artist blocked by psychological factors may, if he or she is prepared to take the book to heart, uncover what his or her problems are. However, it seems to me, the task of solving those problems will probably require a lot more work and help than this book can provide on its own.

Finally, one should understand that nothing in this book will tell you how to develop your vision as an artist.
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 16 Feb 2005
By Maria - Published on
This book is amazing. I'm not halfway done and it's aready changed my worldview in significant ways. For most of my life I've been a blocked artist suffering from depression. Other creativity books emphasize the usual: become confortable with making mistakes, be disciplined and persistent, we could all create freely if we could just let go of our fear of judging ourselves and being judged by others. This book goes much deeper, to the very root of the issue: meaningfulness and meaning-making. The "why bother?" of the creative process. The incredibly subtle ways you might be justifying your own lack of productivity in the name of some lofty ideal. The psychology of creativity. For some of us the creative process in the only true form of therapy, and we figure out sooner or later that our happiness depends on our ability to harness our creativity. What's more, we come to realize the deep connection between creating and living. You might start seeing many other (non-art-related) personal issues become resolved as you embrace the holistic path that Maisel proposes. This book can do for you as much as expensive psychotherapy, and could in fact be a good complement to it. This is not a self-help book--it's much smarter and deeper than that--and devoid of the usual motivational fluff. No you-can-do-its here. No certainties, no happy endings. Only the recognition that you, the creator, have no other choice but to create, why you keep shying away from it, how the creative mind works, what pitfalls to look out for.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coaching Myself to Success 9 Feb 2005
By Jan B. King - Published on
Eric Maisel's newest is a gem. I read it all at one sitting - I couldn't put it down. I don't consider myself "blocked" as a writer, but I learned how to be even more open creatively through his techniques and stories. It was so encouraging to find out how many other people shy away from their own potential, and that by acknowledging what we are doing we can overcome our own blind spots. Maisel teaches us to coach ourselves through the blocks to greater success.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Midwest Book Review, March 2005 Issue 4 Mar 2005
By Lori L. Lake - Published on
I've read almost a dozen books by Eric Maisel about writing, the arts, and the psychology of creativity, and though it seems impossible, each new book is better than the last. Maisel's latest, COACHING THE ARTIST WITHIN, is no exception. Drawing on his experience as a psychotherapist, author, and creativity coach, Maisel has developed a book that creative people from all realms can use.

From the first examples in the Introduction through the twelve chapters of advice and information, anyone practicing an art will find solid help and inspiration. Chapters on self-coaching, creating while in the middle of things, dealing with anxiety, achieving balance and centeredness, and maintaining a creative life are particularly excellent. Maisel also provides the reader with 22 exercises, all of which provide food for thought and could easily jumpstart authors or artists who are blocked or at a crossroads with their work.

Inspiring, challenging, and entertaining, the book is compulsively easy to read and jam-packed full of the kind of teaching and coaching that every creative person needs. I can't recommend it highly enough. Maisel includes an Appendix for anyone interested in becoming a Creativity Coach. At the end he also lists a Resource section of all of his own writings that support the teachings within this book. Taken all together, this volume is a wonderful addition to the library of anyone interested in furthering their creativity. ~Lori L. Lake, reviewer for The Independent Gay Writer and Midwest Book Review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting out of the doldrums 16 Sep 2005
By Beverly Jackson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was sort of burnt out on self-help books, having read about a zillion of them in my lifetime, but Eric Maisel was recommended to me by a writer whose work is spectacular (Brown-Davidson) and I trust her judgment and needed a push to break through some creative blocks I've been experiencing. I have to tell you, I was quite impressed and definitely moved to get back to my novel after reading this very intelligent, and well conceived book on coaching your own creativity. There are some very inspirational ideas, exercises, and concepts that actually work, and since I'm cynical about such rah rah stuff, I was quite taken that my mind acquiesced to trying them, and they worked. I'd recommend this to anyone who has need of a support system and someone in their corner to urge them on to creative productivity.
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