Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kick Ass Creativity Book Review by ChristineMM

Title: Kick-Ass Creativity: An Energy Makeover for Artists, Explorers, and Creative Professionals

Author: Mary Beth Maziarz

Publication: Hampton Roads, 2010

My Star Rating: 2 stars out of 5 = I Don’t Like It

Summary Statement: Author’s Writing Style and Tone Not Appealing or Helpful To Me; Also New-Age-y

I’ll get right to the point. Other readers may enjoy this book, if so, I’m happy for you. I don’t like this book so I am using Amazon’s rating star of 2 which they classify as “I Don’t Like It”. It just isn’t for me. Maybe I’m too serious, or that I take my creative endeavors too seriously. I was looking for an upbeat, fun, inspiring book but this just didn’t work for me.

Author Maziarz has a colloquial writing style. It feels as if a friend is giving you a pep talk which is good if you’re in the same groove. “Get ready and hold on tight, ‘cause this is going to be a rockin’ trip” and regarding your inner artist she says, “Let’s set that sucker free!”(page 1). This is not the traditional more professional written language style that book authors used to always use (and which I’m accustomed to). I know “kick-ass” is in the title but this type of lingo is throughout and it’s not the way I talk or what I like to read, it distracts me, to be honest. The author uses slang and trendy phrases like WTF, but changes it to “what’s the focus” (page 34) and uses slang phrases like “pissed off” (page 72).

Maziarz also is a bit over the top with her descriptions, it felt odd to me. “Every day you have the potential to make contributions to the universe that no one else can possibly provide. You’ve got something special to offer. You’re gifted, even.” (page 10) Perhaps I’m just sick of hearing that everyone is special and fantastic and that we’re all gifted persons...

The book is full of new-age talk which was a bit much for me. I’m just not into all that New Age stuff. I’ve been there, done that, and I’ve had enough of it. A couple of examples are a chapter section “you are what you vibrate” (page 80) and “living clear” (page 93) which is a key phrase used in the world’s largest cult. Feng Shui is discussed on page 114. Maziarz refers to God as “Big Creative” on page 130 and says she has a creative team comprised of helpful spirits “muses, guides, ancestors, angels, guardians—whatever” and then says, “So screw it if it sounds a little nutty. It works for me. And it can work for you.”

I’m not tearing down the author or the book when I say this just doesn’t work for me. Sorry, but I just don’t like the book. I would advise the potential customers read a few pages of the book using Amazon’s look inside the book feature and see if Maziarz’s writing style clicks with you.

As a creative person I want all people to feel the creative juices flowing and to get unblocked and to create in whatever media you work with. We are unique people and not everyone may react the same way to the encouraging words of our fellow artists. Find what works for you; find encouragement in the writings that inspire you, whether it’s this book or some other written word or whatever! Then go create something and enjoy the creative process!

P.S. Two people who saw me reading the book mistook the cover’s information and thought Julia Cameron was its author due to her quote being above the title and the name in the same color as the title and the author's name in green which kind of blends into all that green just below her name. When they browsed the book they said, “Oh this isn’t like Cameron’s writing at all, I loved her stuff, but this is not for me.” So I’m not alone in not loving this writing style.

1 comment:

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Gah ... that does sound a little too heavy-handed and tough to take. I don't think that would have been all that appealing to me, either.