Dan Millman is the author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior and several other books on the theme of spiritual awareness. His latest book, The Creative Compass: Writing Your Way from Inspiration to Publication, is different. First of all, he wrote the book with Sierra Prasada, his daughter.
The book is for anyone who is creative and wants to take their work from the imagination out to the world. Because I’m a writer, I saw it more clearly as a book for writers, but it works in a broader sense as well.
The five stages of creative work, according to Millman and his daughter are Dream, Draft, Develop, Refine and Share.
Dream includes getting to know yourself and then developing your “stickiest” idea–the idea that gathers attention and interest and asking (my favorite question) “What if. . .?” The chapter ends with the interesting Dreaming on Deadline.
Draft tackles some hard topics–how to listen, how to read writing books, writing as a solitary act. The chapter is compelling and the father-daughter take on the topics are really useful.
Develop has some good, strong practical advice: sweat trumps talent, never surrender, allegiance to your story and the layers of learning.
Refine covers the ancient skill of trusting your gut, word choice and word order, working with an editor and knowing when that draft is final.
Share helps you understand how to move your readers, summarize your plot, handle rejection and marketing your book. It also covers self-publishing pros and cons.
Normally, I give away books, but I am not finished taking notes on this one yet. It’s a good book, and if you are going to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), this book is worth paying for.
Millman takes a sacred approach to creativity. It’s an appealing way to think of the hard work of book writing and meaning-making. Prasada doesn’t always agree, but they work together to bring a book better than either one of them could have written alone.
—Quinn McDonald has an irrational love of books that make the task of writing seem sacred and worldly. Because it is. She just found out that her book will be available in mid-December–two full months ahead of schedule!