‘The Creative Act: A Way of Being’ by Rick Rubin

If there’s anyone alive whose brain I would love to pick about the creative process, it’s Rick Rubin. He’s not only the legendary and award-winning music “superproducer” behind some of the biggest albums of all time, he’s also a philosopher of creativity who has spent decades thinking about, practicing, and guiding others in the making of art rather than simply product.

Earlier this year he released a book called The Creative Act that takes a bunch of that creative wisdom out of his head and distills it on the page for the rest of us to learn from and be inspired by.

From the book description:

Many famed music producers are known for a particular sound that has its day. Rick Rubin is known for something else: creating a space where artists of all different genres and traditions can home in on who they really are and what they really offer. He has made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Over the years, as he has thought deeply about where creativity comes from and where it doesn’t, he has learned that being an artist isn’t about your specific output, it’s about your relationship to the world. Creativity has a place in everyone’s life, and everyone can make that place larger. In fact, there are few more important responsibilities.

The Creative Act is a beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow. It distills the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime’s work into a luminous reading experience that puts the power to create moments—and lifetimes—of exhilaration and transcendence within closer reach for all of us.

Whatever your preferred art form/medium — or if you currently lack one and are thinking of taking up a new hobby or even profession — reading this book is like entering a dojo of creativity where you not only learn how to get better at your craft, but also come away feeling more in tune with your own humanity.

Get the book in these formats: