book review: creating space: the case for everyday creativity

Written by Sandra Heska King

PRAY EDITOR "Once a nurse, always a nurse," they say. But now I spend my days with laptop and camera in tow as I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I'm a Michigan gal, mom to two, grandmom to two, and wife to one. My husband and I live on 50 acres in the same 150-plus-year-old farmhouse he grew up in. I love this quote by Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." That's how I want to live. And I'm still learning how to be. Still.

November 27, 2012

You have gifts to share. When used well, creativity isn’t just about you. It’s about what you have to give. It’s about leaving a mark, changing lives, and sparking a legacy that others can pass on.

Back in the day–way back–I enjoyed wrapping gifts. My mom often talked about the year I designed and taped ribbon angels complete with with clouds of hair on package tops. It was fun to wrap a small item in graduated boxes or send the kids on a hunt for a special gift by following a trail of clues.

These days I just slap on the paper and usually forgo a bow. I find a white or light-colored space to scribble a name.

I’m guessing the recipients are more anxious to get to the contents anyway.

I’ve set aside other creative pursuits like quilting and soapmaking and home decorating.

I gave up the garden.

I’ve even misplaced the joy of cooking.

Hours spent in the kitchen are gobbled up in minutes leaving me with a mess.

But I miss it.

I miss the feeling of accomplishment. I miss the delight and fun of it all. I miss the warm glow and self-applause as I survey my creation.

I did bake pies last week, but I cheated with ready-to-bake, pre-rolled crusts–much to my sister’s disappointment. She was looking forward to my made-from-scratch recipe.

Lately I’ve even let life sidetrack my writing. Some days, honestly, I wonder if it’s worth it. If there are more practical things I should do. And sometimes I feel guilty about the time it takes to be creative.

Even though I know better.

Can you relate?

But here comes Ed Cyzewski with his new e-book, Creating Space: The Case for Everyday CreativityIt’s a reminder, an invitation (okay, a shove) to make space in our lives to resurrect the creative gifts we may have buried. He reminds us that because they are God-given gifts, they are sacred, and we dare not neglect them.

I’ve been working on creating external space as I work towards clearing out the clutter and the excess that distract.

But there’s also internal clutter.

Distractions, entertainment, and hectic schedules are the enemies of creativity. If you’re committed to your creative calling, then you need to ask yourself tough questions about how you use your time.

The more things I turned off, the easier it was to turn my creativity on.

Ed goes on to say:

When you create something, you aren’t just making something that you need. You’re participating in a greater story that has been woven into our world and that links us to one another.

This is an easy and fun read. And it’s only 99 cents for Kindle.

Except for today and tomorrow when it’s free!

I think you’ll be encouraged and inspired–and because it’s a short book, you’ll be back to creating in no time.

And maybe next time I bake a pie, I’ll get reacquainted with my rolling pin.

Connect with Ed on his blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

What will you create today?




  1. Amy L. Sullivan

    Me? Oh, I hear you about the practical side of being creative. I’m a show me the real-life application, and that’s why sometimes I feel guilty creating. Ed’s book sounds amazing!

    • Ed_Cyzewski

      Thanks Amy. I specifically single out the guilt associated with creativity. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

    • Sandra Heska King

      I think the world often expects us to show a profit from our “investments.” Maybe we expect that from ourselves, too. A little cash seems to validate the time we’ve spent. I know several people who won’t “waste” their time doing things that don’t add to their checkbook.

  2. Kel Rohlf

    Sandra- So cool that you reviewed this book today…I saw it yesterday over at “What’s on Your Night Stand?” …one of the link ups reccomended it and so I have it on my kindle for FREE…going to make some time and space to read it today! thanks.

    • Sandra Heska King

      Did you read it yet? It’s fast reading, but good for any time you need a “swift kick,” I think. It spoke to me for sure. 🙂

  3. Crystal Rowe

    I just got this yesterday – thanks to your review – and I read 80% of it in just 20 minutes. Ed has definitely convicted me …. or maybe God has convicted me through Ed’s words …either way, I’m convicted to stop making excuses and start creating.

    But even more than that – as I read it, I couldn’t help but think about how maybe we can create even in the simple, seemingly mundane things … like cooking. Something that can be seen as a chore – when we look at it as a chance to tap into our creativity … when we allow ourselves the space to be creative with it … it no longer becomes something we have to cross off our list, but instead becomes a gift. To ourselves and to others.

    • Sandra Heska King

      Amen, Crystal. I’m standing in the middle of my cluttered table applauding. Stop. Making. Excuses. (I’m speaking to me here.) And I think you hit it square on–looking at everything everyday as an opportunity to create a gift from our gift.

      I thought I’d chosen my word for 2013 (this year it was order), but maybe I’ll pray over the word “Create.” Thanks, Ed!

  4. Duane Scott

    Just downloaed it. Can’t wait!


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book review: creating space: the case for everyday creativity

by Sandra Heska King time to read: 3 min