Minding the Muse, by Priscilla Long
In Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators (128 pages), Priscilla Long shares her secrets to harnessing the creative gift, increasing productivity, and handling the business aspects of the creative life.
Minding the Muse is a practical handbook for the artist or writer—highly experienced, aspiring, or somewhere in between. Long draws from her extensive background as a poet, writer, and master teacher, but also gathers the insights and practices of a wide range of high-achieving artists, including mystery writer Raymond Chandler, choreographer Twyla Tharp, poet and performance artist Patti Smith, and the painter Joan Miró. Beginning with the first sparks of artistic creation—“Gathering, Hoarding, Conceptualizing”—Long moves through the various stages to “Completing Works” and “Poet as Peddler, Painter as Pusher: Marketing.” Every creative worker will find something here to take to heart and into the studio or workroom.
“Priscilla Long’s slim handbook for artists suggests ways to reflect on one’s creativity and so become a more effective creator. It is pithier and more intellectually respectful than recent creativity how-tos like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, and old standards like Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.” Read more….
—Pamela Hobart Carter, The Seattle Star
“One hundred and twelve pages of pure creative gold are here for the taking. No matter the form your creative gifts take, there’s something in Minding the Muse that will excite, motivate, clarify, or entertain you.” Read more….
—Krysta Gibson, New Spirit Journal
“I found Long’s advice, along with the examples she pulls from other books and studies on creativity, to be reliably fresh and unorthodox. I loved being reminded to strictly cordon my messy drafting stage from the critical revising stage and the gutty purveying stage. I liked her form of telling me flatly what to do without pandering to my ego. I admired her various elegant ways of commanding me to embrace the old-fangled: get back to work, and work hard.[….] The simple fact is that I read these two self-help books and I went sweetly adrift in them [….] and when I came out the other side I felt somehow both richly served and pleasantly on my own again.” Read more….
—Bonnie J. Rough for the Seattle Review of Books
Priscilla Long is a Seattle-based author and teacher of writing. Her work includes poetry, creative nonfictions, fictions, history, and science. Her other most recent book is Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Her book of poems is Crossing Over: Poems. She is also author of The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life and the scholarly history book Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry. For more information, click here.
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