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Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises & Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain't Pretty

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  248 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Fans of DIY projects and crafts will conquer their fear of failure and create their own masterpieces using this fun and inspiring handbook. Get Crafty. Make Great Stuff. Be Creative! The number one fear of all creative types—crafters, DIYers, makers, artists—is that failure lurks right around the corner. Crafty blogger and creativity guru Kim Piper Werker urges everyone to ...more
Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Sasquatch Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I recieved this book through Goodreads First Read Program in exchange for a review*

I am rather fond of the author's no-nonsense, spunky, style of writing. It is very engaging and enjoyable. The one problem is, I was expecting something a bit different from this is comprised of one part advice, one part exercises, and about three parts life store. I was expecting it to be more of a thing similar to 'Wreck This Journal' but specifically geared towards helping readers break through crea
Aug 04, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This looks so funny and cute! Hoping I can get a copy so I can read and review!!
Megan Caddy
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Lately I’ve been craving to start creating something new. I’ve been seeking out inspiration more than usual and luckily found this book at the library. It’s exactly what I needed at this moment! I really want to buy my own copy, so I re-read and highlight everything. 🤓

“Talk of creativity is often limited to the results of visual art, writing, crafts, performing arts, etc, but creativity plays an invaluable role in every sort of endeavor—from the science lab to the boardroom to the classroom. If
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic, art-related
2.5 stars. the beginning of the book started very strong - i was charmed by the author's story of struggle, her not-yet-husband and their mosaic, and the starter exercises were useful to me. this book is why i have a brand new ashtray, why i have an ugly doll hanging on the wall above my desk. it's certainly played a role in my creative life since the year began. but then the book became less and less specific about the exercises, and heavier on the anecdotes from other creatives and innovators. ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm long overdue to post this review! Kim has written a book that I think could help a lot of people who find themselves stuck creatively. She has a practical no-nonsense style of writing that makes this a delight to read. (I have no patience for books that make the creative process into mystical, magical stuff, and Kim stays well away from that.) She provides useful exercises to get to the kernel of what might be holding you back creatively. Highly recommend. ...more
Carolyn Hanson
Good premise & pep talks for those who are timid or fearful about flexing their creative muscles. (Helpful to review before teaching an art class)
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before I start:
1) I received this book as part of a first-reads giveaway. Thank you, Sasquatch Books, for your generosity! :) Also, you picked a winner with you decision to publish this book. Congratulations!
2) My actual rating for this book is more like 4.7, since the mild swearing causes me to make disclaimers whenever I recommend it. (Having to make disclaimer = slightly less than the five stars of perfection.)
If you know me, please remember that I've warned you and don't think that I've gone
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, I didn't actually DO the exercises in this book (because I've done a lot of the exploration she suggests and I don't feel creatively stuck these days) but they look really valuable to try out. For someone who's getting all self-judgy about their creativity, this is a fantastic book to feel more positive and get creating.

For me, the most fascinating element was the suggestion to make something intentionally ugly. That hit a nerve for me because I fall more on the perfectionist side of the fen
This book was fun, useful and oh-so true. I felt myself nodding (awkward, since I read most of this in public). Made me want to go crochet something, paint, write ALL the novels, and just generally do things without worrying how they looked.

If you're stuck in a creative rut, add this to your list!
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creativity
Loved this! A great read for anyone who wants to be more creative, or to start being creative, or is worried that they aren't creative at all. It just embraces the joy of making & getting past your own fears doubts & ugly voices. ...more
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't finish, not because the book wasn't good, but because there were too many things on my to-do list and I had to return the book. In essence, don't worry about how things look. It hinders the creative process. I'm still working on that. ...more
Keetha Mosley
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! I liked everything about it.
Martha O.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She doesn't talk down to you in assume that her methods will help you, but she has valuable perspectives and ideas. ...more
Artemisia Hunt
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love books about creativity. When I'm not creating something myself, I also love to read books that inspire me creatively, or give me new ideas about the creative process itself. Kim Werker is someone I have followed online for a while now, and she is known for her down-to-earth, often irreverent style when it comes to getting to work on the crafts and projects we all dream of making. Hence the provocative title of this book: Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even ...more
Gilion Dumas
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Make It Mighty Ugly is about overcoming "demons" like procrastination, self-doubt, and perfectionism to be more creative. Werker identifies common demons, then provides advice and hands-on exercises to start creating things and sustain your creative habits,

I usually associate creativity with arts-and-crafts, DIY projects, and maybe fiction writing. My hope is to apply Werker's advice and techniques in my law practice because I think the same demons can restrict creative thinking in the workplace
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great read for someone trying to be more creative!

There are good exercises to help you get over fear, writers block, and other barriers that prevent you from creating. There are also anecdotes about what it makes to make ugly things - and why that's ok! There's advice on finding your creative niche and how to make a schedule that's sustainable.

It's an inspiring read!
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this along with a number of other creative people and Kim's five-week course and found it very helpful. At some point I need to get the physical book as it's much easier to look through it and find the information I need. ...more
Katie Rosso
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book touched my heart. I loved it.
Erin Dumond
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forces you to confront and call out the bullies that keep you from creating. Also moves you to just get on with creating, EVEN IF ITS UGLY. *Gasp* had some fun exercises to get making too.
J.D. Kitrell
Fantastic! The author's hilarious points and anecdotes made me giggle the whole way through. What wonderful advice to help stop writer's block, and creative stoppage in general. ...more
Are you in a creative rut? Kim Piper Werker’s book Make It Mighty Ugly might just give your creativity a boost.

The author calls her work “A Handbook for Vanquishing Creative Demons,” and it is full of suggestions, exercises, and advice to help you break through your creative blocks and fire up your imagination. The basic premise is that creative demons – self-doubt, perfectionism, fear of failure, and the like – keep us from trying new things, forging ahead, and being as productive as we can be.
September Michaud
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafts, 2015
Good stuff. Mostly things I've heard already, but I like Werker's personality and the particular way she describes things: acknowledging your creative demons, creating and maintaining a daily habit, sharing your work.

I really love some of the random things she added including:

- the inspiration of YouTube commencement speech videos

- Joss Whedon's quote "fill the tanks, fill the tanks, fill the tanks" highlighting the fact that sometimes creators just need to take a break and binge watch or bing
Leigh Anne
Good advice for making bad art so you can make better art.

The subtitle pretty much nails it. You'd expect a book like this to be super-chipper and incredibly irritating, but Werker hates that kind of thing herself and goes out of her way to avoid it. Her main point, heavily illustrated with examples from her own adventures in crochet, sewing, and other crafts, is that you can whack away at your obstacles by making some really horrible things on purpose. There are also a bunch of writing exercise
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for getting yourself into or back into a Creative Habit. It uses lots of ideas from Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, but it has more exercises and some great graphs to help you monitor what's working for you creatively. I also love all the great links and interviews Werker gives in her text. She has great ideas and has pulled in lots of good info from others. Worthwhile read. I made a list of all the links she suggests and check them out while waiting in ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read parts of the book in preparation for a Mighty Ugly workshop at our library. Kim was gracious & skyped with us, in spite of the 3 hour time difference on a Saturday morning. She was terrific, just like the book. All the women attending the workshop had great fun and felt liberated by the exercise. Highly recommend the book for creative people, people who feel like they can't create, people who want to be more creative, and those of us who are plagued by that voice in our heads telling us we ...more
This is a pretty solid book about creativity that got my mind humming with intentions for the new year. You spend some time doing exercises to identify your top demons, then there are many activities to get you started making things and to inspire you to keep making things. I skipped some of the exercises, mostly because they were focused on making physical items (collage, craft) and my creative outlets are the written and sung word (and, yes, because I am trying to meet my reading goal with 2 d ...more
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I spent over 6 months reading this book in spurts doing some of the earlier exercises religiously. But I have to say that once I expanded the focus of the book to more than just my creative life is when it resonated for me. I've been job hunting for 7 months now and there really isn't more soul sucking than looking for a job. But by applying some of the examples to the job hunting process I've been able to move past some of the disappointments and the demons that at times have limited me career ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that takes a slightly unconventional approach to helping you get past your creative demons and hopefully results in you embracing them. A number of creative exercises to get your mind moving and to get you out of the zone of self doubt, fear of failure, and perfectionism and into the realm of free form imagination. Very good for anyone that has had artists block for any length of time! There are also a lot of recommended links scattered throughout that are meant to inspire. Good quotes to ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're doing the book club - I like the workshop exercises, but a lot of the 'therapy' bits is a bit too specific to the author's own issues. If I shared her issues, it would be tremendously useful, but my procrastination is often from an entirely different origin and therefore the 'fixes' are inapplicable at best, and other times actively counterproductive.
That said, those bits of the book are only a small section, and the rest of the book and its exercises are quite fun and helpful.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. Although written by a "crocheter" it gives one the courage to seek inspiration from places and experiences normally avoided by the average creative. Dare to fail, because from the chaos of failure comes some kind of useful order that stays. Recommended to anyone who believes that we all have the creative spirit to change our surroundings. ...more
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Kim Werker is a writer and editor who makes something every day. She runs a project called Mighty Ugly, helping people to embrace the difficult, dark side of creativity so they can have way more fun making stuff and trying new things.

Her latest book is Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain't Pretty. Kim was the founder of the now-extinct and

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  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
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“In any medium, I also start out assuming—even planning—that I’ll delete the first thing I do, whether it’s a paragraph or the first few rows of a scarf. That makes those first steps far less precious and therefore less intimidating.” 0 likes
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