The Creative Act


Inu8 Reads / The Creative Act: A Way of Being 

By Rick Rubin


This is a wonderful book for stimulating creativity in a similar way to "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. It also offers deep wisdom for a life well lived.

If you've travelled the creative path with Julia Cameron this book may offer more of a meditative approach to what it means to be creative. It suggests that artists don't have a monopoly on creativity – everyone is inherently creative. To access that creativity you just need to commit to a creative practice. 

 We believe creativity to be a pillar of wellness in that we are all creators and on some level have a desire to awaken our inner knowing. 

Captured below are just a few of our take-outs from 'The Creative Act'. 

Everyone is a creator

We all create things in our life. Embrace the act of creating and you will start enjoying life in a new way.

“Regardless of whether or not we’re formally making art, we are all living as artists.”
“To live as an artist is a way of being in the world. A way of perceiving. A practice of paying attention.”

The more time we invest in our ability to recognise greatness, the better we will become at allocating our time and attention.

“If you make the choice of reading classic literature every day for a year, rather than reading the news, by the end of that time period you’ll have a more honed sensitivity for recognizing greatness from the books than from the media. This applies to every choice we make. Not just with art, but with friends we choose, the conversations we have, even the thoughts we reflect on. All of these aspects affect our ability to distinguish good from very good, very good from great. They help us determine what’s worthy of our time and attention.”

Nature as a teacher

Of all the great works that we can experience, nature is the most absolute and enduring. The closer we can get to the natural world, the sooner we start to realise we are not separate.

"There's a reason we are drawn to gazing at the ocean. It is said the ocean provides a closer reflection of who we are than any mirror."


There are no shortcuts in life. We can't force greatness to happen. All we can do is invite it in and await it actively. 

"Our continual quest for efficiency discourages looking too deeply. The pressure to deliver doesn't grant us time to consider all possibilities." 

The artist actively works to experience life slowly, and then to re-experience the same thing anew rather than approaching the opportunities of each day like items to check off a to-do list.

"Patience is developed much like awareness. Through an acceptance of what is. Impatience is an argument with reality." 

Follow your Intuition 

There will be many people in your life who will try to dissuade you from doing what you want. Hear them out, but be willing to ignore them.

“It’s not always easy to follow the subtle energetic information the universe broadcasts, especially when your friends, family, coworkers, or those with a business interest in your creativity are offering seemingly rational advice that challenges your intuitive knowing. To the best of my ability, I’ve followed my intuition to make career turns, and been recommended against doing so every time. It helps to realise that it’s better to follow the universe than those around you.”

Many people will continue to live as if life is a series of external experiences. And that we must live an outwardly extraordinary life in order to have something to share.

"Our inner world is every bit as interesting, beautiful and surprising at nature itself. It is, after all, born of nature. When we go inside, we are processing what's going on outside. We are no longer separate. We're connected. We are one."

Rules are limiting

You should not only be comfortable breaking rules, but you should look for opportunities to do it often. Don’t let arbitrary rules kill your creativity.

“The rules artists learn are different. They are assumptions, not absolutes. They describe a goal or method for short-term or long-term results. They are there to be tested. And they are only of value as long as they are helpful. They are not laws of nature.”

Rules can create average, sub-optimal work. Don’t aspire to be average.

“Rules direct us to average behaviours. If we’re aiming to create works that are exceptional, most rules don’t apply.”