Monday, August 20, 2007

Review: Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued, Susan O'Doherty

Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide To Unblocking Creativity, Susan O'Doherty

First thing I noticed about this book is how it is laid out-generous spacing and margins for my own notations and underlining.
I tend to ‘mark up’ my books in such a way. I’ve always done so.

There were many anecdotes, passages that stood out to me, that I could relate to personally, or just see the truth of the statement. For example, ‘Don’t force anything’ (p19). It sounds like the easiest thing in the world. But many of us do it anyway and we come out with something way below our standards.

The author also talks of the creative process as healer, almost as a survival mechanism. Most of us write and create to stay sane, to stay in touch with ourselves so as not to get lost in the drudgery of life.

I think this is especially true with women when motherhood enters the picture. We need to keep in touch with our creative selves. O’Doherty devotes an entire chapter to this subject-‘The Impossible Position: Managing Motherhood With Creativity.’

It is amazing what we, as women, absorb and internalize-messages from our families, society telling us it’s not okay, or downright unacceptable, to do this or that-and how it truly affects us to the point where we don’t write, compose, create because we feel we aren’t good enough; even if it means it is a way for us to feel alive and connected.

‘…the culture supports our denial…’ (p.21)

Aside from the anecdotes and the chapter on motherhood, there is an excellent ‘further reading’ list in the back of the book as well as interesting and inspiring exercises dispersed throughout it leaning more towards the psychological than creative. Although, that is the main focus of the book: the psychological aspect of creativity.

There were certain aspects of the book I liked, but overall, this wasn't my cup of tea as a book. Although, I know of quite a few women who would enjoy this thoroughly.

*For more information on the author, visit her website and drop by at her weekly advice column, MJ Rose’s Buzz, Balls & Hype.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


  1. Kris, thanks for this evenhanded review. I'm glad you enjoyed the design and some of the observations.