Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life
Jessica Abel, author
Focus. Finish. Move on to your next project. You’re a creative person. Even if you have a hard time calling yourself a “writer” or an “artist” in public, making your creative work is core to who you are and how you see the world. You may be harboring a big, ambitious idea for a project. Possibly a lot of them. And it’s killing you. You lie awake thinking about it…and hating yourself for not doing more to make it real. If you feel like you’re floundering in the deep end, and anxiety over the complexity and enormousness of your creative projects overwhelms you, stop scrambling to fit everything in and feeling stretched thin. Dive deep and swim. Growing Gills is a powerful, actionable book that takes readers from overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck, to consistent, clear, and in control of their creative lives.
Cartoonist Abel (Trish Trash #2) delivers a motivating productivity guide for people who have trouble finishing creative projects. Her four-part system is variously designed to help readers define the dilemmas blocking their efforts, learn to build personal paths to project completion, execute plans, and stay on track. Using questions (“What do I have to have done to call it finished?”) and exercises (“Take your big project and break it down into action steps”) that call for insightful examination of one’s desires and habits, Abel discusses numerous reasons for not accomplishing goals. These include emotional causes such as procrastination and anxiety and logistical or organizational factors such as coordinating family, work, and personal responsibilities. The plan of attack is as thorough and astute as the assessment questions, providing practical and detailed actions that target problematic habits. Abel calls on would-be creators to systematically review their productivity, done using “tracking document” spreadsheets, and employ countermeasures against distraction, such as turning off the notifications on their mobile devices. Abel’s tone is straightforward and encouraging throughout as she promotes self-reflection and self-understanding as the keys to productivity. (BookLife)