The Creative Act

By Rick Rubin,

Book cover of The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Book description

The #1 New York Times bestseller.

From the legendary music producer, a master at helping people connect with the wellsprings of their creativity, comes a beautifully crafted book many years in the making that offers that same deep wisdom to all of us.

"A gorgeous and inspiring work of art…

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Why read it?

12 authors picked The Creative Act as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Rick Rubin is the prototype for my perfect man. Since I have a huge crush on his brain and voice (I could listen to him have a conversation all day), it is no surprise that I love his book outlining the creative process. It feels like it was channeled.

I use it as a daily reader, selecting a page for the day to contemplate during my morning meditation. I love the bite-sized wisdom, which feels like I could have thought of or written it myself—universal truth nuggets. 

From Mandy's list on activity books for mind body spirit.

Here is yet another great book worthy of space on your bookshelf. Rick Rubin is one of the most sought-after musical producers globally, and he weaves his observations and insights into this brilliant book.

It goes much deeper than a “how to” book; it is more about how to tap into the higher potential within us. As Rick states (and I agree), we are all creative; it is a fundamental aspect of being human. Inspiration for our work surrounds us at every turn. If one is open and attuned to what is happening, answers will be revealed. There is a…

I love this book for many reasons, but the first is that you can pick it up and open to any page to find inspiration. It is full of motivation and provides clarity to the roller coaster that is the creative process.

Rick Rubin has a way with words, and with just a few, he can get you to make your art, music, writing, etc, and enjoy the process.  

From Samantha's list on inspiring creativity (from an artist).

This book reads like poetry. I highlighted entire passages to reread and read to others.

Rubin dispels many myths about being creative, explores how to work as and work with an artist, musician, or others in the 'creative' fields, and includes a few stories of artists he has worked with without naming names.

As a productivity coach, speaker, and consultant, I appreciated his approach to discipline and routine, often shunned by those in the arts. His point is to create a routine in areas of your life that you can, opening up your time and energy to be more creative.

Rick Ruben is a genius at his work, but this book speaks to the genius in all of us.

We are all artists, and we are all creating our lives. He reminds us every day to embrace what we already have by not wanting more. The pages flew out at me as I had to earmark most of them. His poetic words inspired me to live my life more authentically and with greater pleasure to spread the word to all.

Just this quote alone: “Art is choosing to do something skillfully, caring about the details, bringing all of yourself to…

From Erin's list on inspiring authentic transformation.

Even though I’m a writer and artist, I don’t tend to read books on building craft, but I love books about how we approach creativity. This book fits that bill perfectly, offering, as the title claims, a way of being—not just in our careers but in our daily lives.

Creativity isn’t a part of us—it IS us, and I appreciate this message being driven home, page after page. This is the perfect book to boost your creative health.

As a writer, I came to Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act for the same magic he imparted to the late Johnny Cash, and I was not disappointed.

Rubin wants artists to drop their agendas and expectations and just focus on their work in an open channel sort of way. Keep the inputs coming. Sort out what helps the work and discard the rest. If you are like me, interested in creating the best art in this singular moment, then read Rick Rubin, the guy who brought new life to Johnny Cash by just lying down on a couch and closing…

This was one of the most powerful and inspirational books on the creative process I’ve ever read. I usually tend toward funny fiction, but an artist friend loaned me a copy.

I wasn’t even halfway through before I ordered my own copy. It’s a thoughtful, brilliant collection of very short essays on every aspect of the creative process.

It reads like a quiet Dharma talk from a wise Buddhist teacher. Each day, I would read one essay, and they never failed to get me to think about my own creative process in a different way.

It challenged my beliefs and…

In January 2023, my dad—my best friend, greatest supporter, and hero—died of cancer. For a moment, I worried that his death might mark the end of my creative life. How could I go on writing something as frivolous as art historical fiction when everything suddenly seemed so pointless?

Then, along came famed music producer Rick Rubin and this beautiful book. It’s like a collection of meditations on creativity, and it reminded me that making art—whether it’s a song or painting or novel—isn’t so much about the thing itself but about the process.

I’ll never completely put this book away. I…

This book has blown me away. It’s not only the concepts in the book, but the way Rick Rubin writes that bring about so many aha moments. I have underlined so many sentences and paragraphs that I have already gone back to again, to reinforce the idea but also to read how beautifully it was written!

It almost makes it feel safer for me to create and be creative after reading this, to take risks, and to let inspiration guide me!

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