Creative people who follow Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way series know the floundering feeling that arrives at the end of twelve weeks. After performing small acts of self-care under Cameron’s gentle guidance, we find ourselves at the end of the path with new projects started yet somehow not sure what to do with ourselves. Mary Beth Maziarz rescues us with her solution: Kick-Ass Creativity. Maziarz builds on the principles established in the Artist’s Way, and launches readers out of stagnation and into continued motivation.

While much of Kick-Ass Creativity covers aspects of creative work already addressed in Cameron’s later works, notably Vein of Gold and Finding Water, Maziarz light-hearted perspective makes the work seem more like play. While Cameron encourages the artist to dig deep and to handle the wounds of the soul (an important step), Maziarz encourages the writer to “raise the spiritual vibration” so that those wounds feel inconsequential. She combines magical thinking and practice with creative and organizing principles that forces you to keep moving forward with your work. Many of the techniques recommended for that vibration raising involve methods near and dear to a magical person’s heart.

Even the visual experience of the book assists in spurring creativity. Artists respond to the layout: the large print and boxy letters convey a promise of fun waiting at the end of each exercise.

Kick-Ass Creativity is, ultimately, a magic-in-action book. Using all the techniques leads to manifestation of a finished creative project. If you need a gleeful kick in the pants, definitely read this book.


~review by Diana Rajchel


Author: Mary Beth Maziarz

Hampton Roads, 2010

pp. 239 $16.95