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Maisel, Eric 1947-

MAISEL, Eric 1947-

PERSONAL: Born 1947; married; children: two daughters. Education: Earned Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Home—Concord, CA. Home and office—P.O. Box 460523, San Francisco, CA 94146-0523. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Psychotherapist, educator, and writer. St. Mary's College, Moraga, CA, faculty member.

WRITINGS:

FICTION

Dismay, Maya Press (San Francisco, CA), 1982.

The Blackbirds of Mulhouse, Maya Press (San Francisco, CA), 1984.

The Fretful Dancer, Aegina Press (Huntington, WV), 1986.

NONFICTION

Staying Sane in the Arts: A Guide for Creative and Performing Artists, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Artists Speak: A Sketchbook, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1993.

A Life in the Arts: Practical Guidance and Inspiration for Creative and Performing Artists, Putnam (New York, NY), 1994.

Fearless Creating: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art, Putnam (New York, NY), 1995.

Affirmations for Artists, Putnam (New York, NY), 1996.

Fearless Presenting: A Self-Help Workbook for Anyone Who Speaks, Sells, or Performs in Public, Back Stage Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Deep Writing: Seven Principles That Bring Ideas to Life, J.P. Tarcher/Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

Living the Writer's Life, Watson-Guptill Publications (New York, NY), 1999.

The Creativity Book: A Year's Worth of Inspiration and Guidance, J.P. Tarcher/Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Natalya Maisel) Sleep Thinking: The Revolutionary Program That Helps You Solve Problems, Reduce Stress, and Increase Creativity while You Sleep, Adams Media Corp. (Holbrook, MA), 2000.

Twenty Communication Tips for Families: A 30-Minute Guide to a Better Family Relationship, New World Library (Novato, CA), 2000.

Twenty Communication Tips @ Work: A Quick and Easy Guide to Better Business Relationships, New World Library (Novato, CA), 2001.

The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path through Depression, Rodale (Emmaus, PA), 2002.

Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves, (and What They Should Say Instead), J.P. Tarcher (New York, NY), 2002.

The Art of the Book Proposal: From Focused Idea to Finished Proposal, J.P. Tarcher/Penguin (New York, NY), 2004.

Everyday Smart: 30 Ways to Spark Your Inner Genius, Red Wheel Book Publishers (Boston, MA), 2004.

Everyday Calm: 30 Ways to Soothe Your Inner Beast, Red Wheel Book Publishers (Boston, MA), 2004.

Coaching the Artist Within: Advice for Writers, Actors, Visual Artists, and Musicians from America's Foremost Creativity Coach, New World Library (Novato, CA), 2005.

A Writer's Paris: A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul, Writer's Digest Books (Cincinnati, OH), 2005.

Also author of Creativity Coaching, 2005. Contributor to periodicals, including Writer's Digest and Intuition magazine.

SIDELIGHTS: Eric Maisel is a creativity coach who has written numerous books to help writers and other artists with their creativity. In Fearless Creating: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art, Maisel focuses on the anxiety associated with creating, whether starting a book or stepping out onto a stage. Maisel writes about anxiety as an integral part of the creative process that should be embraced, and then guides the reader through the creative process while providing exercises to help overcome obstacles to creativity. Writing in Natural Health, Mirka Knaster commented that the book "can help you find your way through the tangle of anxieties so you can fulfill your hunger to be creative."

Many of Maisel's books focus on writers specifically, including Deep Writing: Seven Principles That Bring Ideas to Life. Discussing such principles as "Hushing the Mind" and "Making Choices," the author uses case studies based on five fictional writers to show how problems arise and how they can be solved. He also includes numerous exercises. Marlene Chamberlain, writing in Booklist, noted that the book is a "wittily written and effective guide to unblocking the mind and allowing our creative juices to flow freely." Library Journal contributor Nancy P. Shires felt that the "psychological approach sets Maisel's work apart from the many inspirational how-to-write books." In another book aimed at writers, Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves, (and What They Should Say Instead), Maisel addresses the issue of writer's block and self-doubt and discusses the "right way" to think about writing through a series of numbered lessons. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that writers might already understand the basic theory at work but that Maisel believes that perhaps "hearing it from him will finally make it stick."

Maisel addresses the general creative audience in his book The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path through Depression. Here Maisel writes as a psychotherapist, focusing on why many creative people become depressed when they cannot find meaning in their work; he then discusses ways that they can work through their depression. Maisel offers a fourstep plan while carefully pointing out that standard therapy and medication are not to be set aside. Douglas C. Lord, writing in Library Journal, commented that the author "effectively … [mixes] academic research, his own thoughts, and the stories of artists" to make his points and present his plan.

The Art of the Book Proposal: From Focused Idea to Finished Proposal takes the reader through the entire book proposal process, including such specifics as how the proposal writer must shape the idea and meet the publisher's expectations. He also includes checklists for keeping track of the proposal and discusses standard proposal issues, such as writing a good cover letter and coming up with a gripping title. Noting that the book has a "tremendously helpful appendix," Lori L. Lake, writing in Reviewer's Bookwatch, commented that "any writer serious about creating a work of nonfiction should run—don't walk!—to your nearest book outlet, get this book, and read it from cover to cover." In a review in Writer, Chuck Leddy wrote: "What Eric Maisel does, and does brilliantly, is explain how a book proposal can be not only a marketing tool but also an essential means for discovering what your book is about."

Maisel once again applies his expertise for the general public in his two books Everyday Smart: 30 Ways to Spark Your Inner Genius and Everyday Calm: 30 Ways to Soothe Your Inner Beast. Each book contains a set of cards designed either to prompt the reader's "inner genius" in the case of Everyday Smart, or to ease the reader's nerves and mind in the case of Everyday Calm. Writing in Reviewer's Bookwatch, Lori L. Lake recommended both books, noting that the cards in Everyday Smart are "evocative, beautiful, and useful" and calling Everyday Calm "a great tool to use to find little corners of peace in a demanding and frustrating world."

In Coaching the Artist Within: Advice for Writers, Actors, Visual Artists, and Musicians from America's Foremost Creativity Coach, Maisel primarily addresses artists of all types who have either quit or are having trouble starting their creative efforts due to a variety of hindrances. Maisel discusses numerous approaches to getting on track and divides them into twelve skill areas, such as self-coaching, dealing with anxiety and fear, creating in a busy world, and maintaining a sense of balance. Throughout the book, Maisel uses examples from the lives of artists to illustrate his teachings. "Inspiring, challenging, and entertaining, the book is compulsively easy to read and jam-packed full of the kind of teaching and coaching that every creative person needs," wrote Lake in Reviewer's Bookwatch. Another reviewer, also also writing in Reviewer's Bookwatch, commented that, "even if you aren't blocked, this book is an excellent resource to help you get the most out of life, to work to your best, and to create a broader vision to encompass your creativity."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 1999, Marlene Chamberlain, review of Deep Writing: Seven Principles that Bring Ideas to Life, p. 957; January 1, 2005, Whitney Scott, review of Coaching the Artist Within: Advice for Writers, Actors, Visual Artists, and Musicians from America's Foremost Creativity Coach, p. 789.

Library Journal, February 1, 1999, Nancy P. Shires, review of Deep Writing, p. 103; November 15, 2002, Douglas C. Lord, review of The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path through Depression, p. 90; September 1, 2004, Dale Raben, review of The Art of the Book Proposal: From Focused Idea to Finished Proposal; p. 164.

Natural Health, October, 1996, Mirka Knaster, review of Fearless Creating: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art, p. 141.

Publishers Weekly, December 17, 2001, review of Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves, (and What They Should Say Instead), p. 79.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, August, 2004, Lori L. Lake, review of The Art of the Book Proposal; October, 2004, Lori L. Lake, review of Everyday Smart: 30 Ways to Spark Your Inner Genius; November, 2004, Lori L. Lake, review of Everyday Calm: 30 Ways to Soothe Your Inner Beast; March, 2005, Lori L. Lake, review of Coaching the Artist Within; April, 2005, review of Coaching the Artist Within.

Writer, September, 2004, Chuck Leddy, review of The Art of the Book Proposal, p. 44.

ONLINE

Eric Maisel Home Page, http://www.ericmaisel.com (June 4, 2005).

New World Library, http://www.newworldlibrary.com/ (June 4, 2005), brief biography of author.

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