I found this book to be an intriguing read, which provided a lot of food for thought in terms of how creative people handle depression. The author’s argument is that creative people get depressed or involved in addictive behavior because they are trying to find meaning, instead of creating meaning. His solution is that creative people need to learn to create meaning in their environments and with the people they have contact with.

The author does an excellent job of exploring the Van Gogh blues, the need to find meaning, as well as some of the destructive behaviors that can occur when creative people can’t find meaning. I’ll admit to be feeling a little discomfort as I read about some of those behaviors, recognizing shades of them in myself. However the author’s intent is to show the reader how to cope with these blues and change the negative behaviors into healthier behaviors.

The one thing this book was missing was some exercises that creative people could use to really get into the meat of what the author wrote about. While the author does an excellent job of diagnosing the issues, he doesn’t seem to follow up as much with the solutions or how to integrate those solutions into a person’s life. Having some exercises might have helped enhance the book. However, even with that issue, this book is still worth picking up, because it will offer a lot of enlightenment into the issues that a creative person faces.

4 out of 5 Life Coaches.


~review by Taylor Ellwood

Author: Eric Maisel
New World Library, 2007

pp. 255; $14.95