Ever felt down about your creativity or are you in need of a positive creativity boost? Then read The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin. Find out what’s so inspiring about this book!

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The Creative Act: A Way of Being

This book will give any artist a new sense of being and creative inspiration. Read it and apply what you learn.

Rick Rubin The creative act

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Video Review: The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Ruben

If you don’t feel like reading the full article, or if you just like watching the video, then check out my video review of The Creative Act: A Way of Being. Also, check out my playlist on other book reviews if you want to find any other great books for songwriting, writing music, music production and music theory.

You can also check out my article about 54 Inspiring Quotes by Rick Rubin. These quotes are from The Creative Act: A Way of Being.

About Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin could be called a legendary person in the music world. He was born on March 10, 1963.

Rick started a record label called Def Jam with his friend when he was in college. This label became famous for working with hip-hop artists.

It is often said that Rick Rubin has a special way of making music. He focuses on the feeling of the music, not just the technical parts. So what you feel comes first, even if technically it is not correct sounding. He worked with many famous artists like Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Adele.

What can be said about Rick Rubin is that he isn’t limited to one type of music. He is known to try different things and mix styles together. He worked with rock, rap, folk, and even country musicians.

One thing that Rick Rubin’s work is known for is its simplicity and power. Many artists say that he helps bring out their true emotions and make music that’s unique to them. This is one of the reasons why he is such a respected and well-known record producer.

Rick Rubin’s influence in the music world is huge. It is safe to say that he changed the way people think about producing music. He showed that it’s important to focus on what’s inside the music, not just the outside.

The Creative Act: A Way of Being Book Review

When I bought this book I was not expecting it to be like this. I was anticipating a book filled with juicy stories and anecdotes. Interesting studio techniques and must-try tips for getting the best out of your recording or musicians.

But instead, what you get is a book about creativity and how to create.

His book does not have chapters, but they are Areas of Thought

78 Areas of Thought
78 Areas of Thought

I found this to be a heartwarming read. I know it must sound strange. But I just felt better after reading it. And more important I felt the need and urge to create music! And maybe not even only music. I just wanted to create something.

In The Creative Act: A Way of Being Rick Rubin has done this very well. It is easy to read and the concepts are clear and concise. Also, they are easy to apply to your own situation and needs.

The Creative Act is divided into four main sections which are:

  • The Seed Phase
  • The Experimentation Phase
  • The Craft Phase
  • The Completion Phase

The Seed Phase: Rick Rubin considers any creative spark to be a seed. And a seed is something that you can develop into something bigger. He advises us to think with an abundance mindset. Not with the notion that creative seeds are a scarcity. It’s always better to have multiple options, instead of focusing on just one.

The Experimentation Phase: Now you have chosen an idea on which you want to settle. Here he pleads for keeping an open mind. It is of vital importance that you keep trying different options and ask yourself ‘What If’ questions to keep your ideas flowing. Never fall into the trap of tunnel vision.

The Craft Phase: Now you’re getting to work. This is where the real hard time and work resides. Interestingly enough though he tells us to not take too long with our project than necessary. This is because if your project is from too long ago, you might not be able to align yourself with the original spark or idea.

The Completion Phase: Your project has reached the stage of polishing and working on details. Again Rick Rubin warns us to not lose ourselves in perfection and to keep going. If you think that only one piece of music or art will define who you are, then you are most likely wrong.

Final conclusion: What I like about The Creative Act, is that you can read it one page a day. It’s not like a story that you need to memorise. Give yourself some time to soak in all the ideas and wisdom that this book has to offer.

Also, feel free to just go back to a certain chapter or a certain section of the book. There is no real strict order or storyline. In my case, I use it when I need a quick hit of inspiration.

Tutorials on Songwriting Tips and Music Theory For Composing Music

If you want to learn more about creative music theory and tips for songwriting, then check out my playlist Songwriting Tips and Music Theory For Composing Music on YouTube. You can also read the separate articles on songwriting and music composition over here. In any case, more than enough tips and techniques for writing music!

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Video Transcript

Rick Rubin the legendary music producer who has worked with artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Adele, System of a Down, Johnny Cash, Metallica and Slayer. Just to mention a few.

In January 2023 he released a book called The Creative Act: A Way of Being.

So my first thoughts? Hell yeah!

Finally, we get to read about all these huge artists that he’s worked with. And we get the chance to learn the tips and tricks of what it takes to become a music producer. And with his guiding wisdom, we can even become music producers ourselves! So I bought this book without reading reviews or a book summary because this purchase was a no-brainer right?

Okay, I suggest that we put on some review music and check out what this book is all about. And I can tell you you are in for a surprise.

There are 78 chapters in this book which he calls areas of thought and this already sets the tone. Then when you turn the page the book starts with the following text and I think we need to change the music for this one.

Nothing in this book is known to be true. It’s a reflection on what I’ve noticed- Not facts so much as thoughts.
Some ideas may resonate, others may not.

A few may awaken an inner knowing you forgot you had. Use what’s helpful. Let go of the rest.

Each of these moments is an invitation to further inquiry: looking deeper, zooming out, or in. Opening possibilities for a new way of being.

I was like okay this is not what I expected but fine it was a nice story. Now let’s get our hands dirty with some gear talk, studio techniques, stories about great artists and other music quotes.

Probably you already feel this one coming. If you want to read about all the things that I just said, then stay away from Rick Rubin’s book. Just don’t buy it! Because nothing of that is in this book. The Creative Act: A Way of Being is very light on the studio talk let’s put it like this.

So is this book a waste of your time?

Maybe… it depends on what you’re looking for. Rick Rubin’s book The Creative Act: A Way of Being is exactly what the title says it is. It is an inspirational read for any aspiring artist actually and it truly is about a new way of being.

Is this only for musicians?

No, as I said, this book can be an inspirational read for anybody who wants to create something so it does not matter if you’re a musician, a writer or a visual artist. Heck even for everyday life this book gives inspiration. In fact, I found this book so inspiring that I wrote down 54 amazing quotes. You’ll find a link to these quotes in the description.

And I truly believe that for many people the creative act a way of being definitely will be a mind opener. I do believe that with all of his personal thoughts, he really teaches a new way of being. So if you’re looking for an inspirational book or something just to lift you up as an artist, then give this book a chance. I guarantee that it will give positive creative inspiration.

I must admit that some passages in Rick Rubin’s book were a little bit too spiritual and esoteric to my taste but that didn’t spoil the fun. And I’ll be definitely reading this book for a second or a third time because there are just so many details that you could find.

And while talking about books, what are your favourite artist biographies and do you have any favourite music theory or music production technique books? Share them with us so that we can all learn.

And I guarantee that after reading this book it is difficult not to stay inspired, and not to stay creative. And all there is for now…
See you next time!

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