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The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Rick Rubin, accomplished music producer, could have written a memoir, including salacious celebrity stories and industry insider tales. Instead, he wrote a book about creativity — a collection of ideas and smattering of thoughts about what creativity is and how the channel it. Inside, it contains no celebrity references, no famous names. It's written almost like a Psalms, but also contains practical advice. And it's good.

In many ways, it's another telling of Big Magic; offering a perspective where creativity exists in the universe, and we tune into it. This metaphor is not offered as "truth"—necessarily—but as a useful model. Rubin opens with a disclaimer that none of the book is necessarily true, but reflects his expertise and experience working with artists. In fact, for me, at times it felt like a better Big Magic, which was surprising, since Elizabeth Gilbert's version was so meaningful to me.

(If you need more convincing, this review is more in depth, and is wonderful.)


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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