Rain kindly bought this book for me for Mothers’ Day, and I’ve since managed to fit in the odd five minutes here and there to read it. That’s one good thing about Things Are What You Make Of Them – it doesn’t take long to read! Oh that makes me sound like I don’t like it, which isn’t true. It’s a book for the current generation who take their entertainment and information in snippets; in bite-size chunks of Instagram stories. There are even perforated edges so you can choose your favourite little pages of words of wisdom to put up on your copper magnet board next to the foiled print that says Eat Sleep Create….
The actual contents of the book is great, and there really are plenty of words of wisdom. Some pages really make you think, if you have the time to do so, and others are a little comfort blanket reminding us “creatives” (*heave*) that we’re not the only ones going through this.
So if you haven’t worked out already, the title of the book, Things Are What You Make Of Them, is a pun. It is for people who make stuff; not just a book about appreciating what we have and being all Pollyanna about life (although that is a good thing and a page or two in the book says as much). It is divided into thirteen colour-coded chapters that will take you through your creative journey from How to get started; How to get over common creative fears; What to do when you fail; How to keep going, and Simple tips for success. Adam J. Kurtz hits the mark every time. Straight to the point; no faffing around; it’s just there: everything you need to know.
I just can’t quite get over the crayoned capital letters. I think that’s the problem that niggles at me and stops me raving about how wonderful the book is. It just kind-of feels I’m being shouted at. Or it smacks of self-importance. It makes me feel iffy about the author before I know anything about him, and therefore gets in the way. I’m going to try reading Things Are What You Make Of Them again, but imagining as hard as I can that someone else has hand-written it. Not my own handwriting – that would be weird; a touch narcissistic and rather unbelievable as I am no good at all at either wisdom or advice – but if someone could come along and re-write it in pen, in neat joined up writing with capital letters, lower case letters and correct grammar, I would be very grateful. God I’m old.
So if you already work in a creative industry, you will love this book because it reminds you where you’re going and why you’re doing it. There are also paragraphs that make you realise you are not alone. Like when a comedian talks about remembering embarrassing moments in their life from fifteen years ago, just before they go to sleep. And you thought you were the only one who did that. Well it’s like that! And if you are thinking about starting creative endeavours, then you will love this book for letting you know what you’re in for, and holding your hand through it.
Adam J. Kurtz’s response to this blog post:
“a very sweet little book review by @helenhobden that’s made my morning helen i’m not shouting BUT I AM A VERY LOUD AND EXCITED PERSON 😘”
How cool is that?!