Katheter, all the world's a.'s Reviews > Finding Your Bipolar Muse: How to Master Depressive Droughts and Manic Floods and Access Your Creative Power

Finding Your Bipolar Muse by Lana R. Castle
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May 12, 12

Read in January, 2010

This book might help those who are well and truly stabilized, on meds, and looking for a way to channel a specific, marketable talent into a manageable career while maintaing crucial self-care.

As a highly disorganized bipolar person who wants desperately to maintain a good writing and art studies schedule, let alone to remember to eat when manic or shower when depressed, this work overwhelms me. Too much unchecked manic energy comes howling out of its pages. Castle is thorough in covering all subtleties of bipolar livin' ("things ain't working out down at the farm" anyone?), but giving a detailed but meandering guidebook to the manic masses is like *giving* candy to a baby. I get it, we should all have hope even though our brain chemistries are verkakte. You too can be an artist! A businesswoman! Tons of famous people are just as nuts as you are! These bits of advice just sound like the stupid things I tell myself when planning all those great art installations I'm going to get around to tomorrow (even though I've never made one), or when I believe I'll actually write that song I have written a description of twenty times, or when I was trying to read all of Proust in two months for a college project.

I'd suggest Shaun McNiff's Trust the Process if you're an arty farty "moody peep" (aren't all of us though?). Even though McNiff's isn't specifically focused on mood disorders and art practice, I prefer his work for the generality of the advice, a focus on mixing inventiveness and self-challenge with tenacity, and his academic background in arts therapy.

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