Life and Art: Advice for Works in Progress

Life and Art: Advice for Works in Progress

A list by Rachael, Page

Every idea starts with other ideas. When we create something new, it's from the pieces of something old, whether clay or ink and paper, or a life on the road less traveled. Each of these books pointed me in new directions, new ways of thinking, and gave me different ways of looking at life and art. Whether you paint or mold clay, write music or ice skate, work in medicine or the clergy, there's something here for you.



Short, wise, full of stories and applicable advice about how to live well, with compassion for self and others, and with purpose and meaning.

If you've ever wanted to make something be it music, a painting, a book, a movie or a great casserole but didn't know where to start, this quick, quote-filled book has ten suggestions that may help you get started on the path to creating more than you ever thought you could before.

Sometimes, nothing less than a fairy tale will do. A soldier sells his soul for seven years. The hope of winning it back is a slim one. But there's a reason they call them fairy tale endings.

A clear, funny, compassionate guide to taking time to do life right and to seeing one's self and one's art clearly.

A nun, blessed with the ability to write masterful and inspiring books, also suffers from debilitating headaches. Offered a surgery that could cure the headaches, she faces the loss of the talent that comes with them. A potent musing on the sacrifices we make to create and the opportunities attached to loss.

"The Red Tree," a picture book in this three-story collection, deals with those days when everything goes wrong in work, play, and all the places in between. Uplifting without being sappy, it's my favorite of Tan's many great books.

I read "Eat, Pray, Love." I liked "Committed," the sequel, better. In this book on creativity and how it can be a freeing influence in our lives, Gilbert makes an excellent argument for trying something new and for greater generosity and connection among people who make.

I first heard of this book in a "Books That Changed My Life" column in "O: The Oprah Magazine." Jodie Foster regarded it therein as a holy book that she gave as a gift and reread when she needed to remember why she makes movies. I love it for a passage about "learning to love the questions."

This book changed my life. It gave me the courage and the discipline to do one of the things I was born to do, which is write. The prose is easy to read, but the process takes effort. Like life, the results are worth the work.