The Creative Act Book Summary - The Creative Act Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Creative Act summary

Rick Rubin

A Way of Being

4.6 (221 ratings)
13 mins
Table of Contents

    The Creative Act
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Open yourself up to creative inspiration.

    Think of a mighty peach tree standing tall in your garden. The tree creates a harvest of peaches every summer. It doesn’t try to grow the peaches. It doesn’t agonize over whether it is, in fact, worthy enough to be a peach-maker. It just allows the force of creation to move through it. It does what it was born to do, easily and efficiently, moving with the rhythms of the universe.

    We are all like that peach tree. We’re all naturally creative. We all have the urge to make things, whether that’s a sculpture, a song, a peach pie, or an innovative project at our company. And, like that tree, we’d do well to put our doubts aside and let the creative forces of the universe do their work.

     All we need to do is open ourselves up.

     OK, but this might be easier said than done. How can you move toward making this a reality?

    The first step is easy. Start by noticing what’s going on in the world around you. The next time you get the train home or take a walk around your neighborhood, put down your phone. Pry those headphones from your ears.

    Feel the sharp kiss of the wind on your cheek. Listen to the juicy morsels of gossip your fellow passengers are whispering about. Check out the wild outfit your neighbor wears while he’s mowing the lawn. Appreciate the barren beauty of even the most wintery forest.

    There’s so much to notice in the world if you only allow yourself to look.

    The work of an artist is to cultivate an openness to the world around you. To sharpen your sense of awareness so that you become receptive to the surprises and clues and nudges the universe is trying to give you – all the time. We do ourselves a disservice when we imagine that we create art purely by ourselves. In reality, you’re always accompanied.

    So, the next time you’re struggling with a creative problem, ask the universe for help and look for the clues. Open a book to a random page and see if you get inspired by a quote. Or pick a movie at random and see what moves you while you’re watching. Or spend 15 minutes in a shop you’d never normally enter. Being receptive to clues is more poetry than science. It’s about recognizing that every facet of your life can contain wonder and that inspiration can lie in unlikely places.

    The best way to cultivate the practice of awareness is by looking for regular moments in your day when you can take the time to pause. Try taking a few extra minutes in bed each morning, drawing deep breaths, and checking in with the sensations of your body. Or make it a daily ritual to walk the few blocks to your office instead of taking a cab. Or end every evening by listening to music with your eyes closed. By hooking the habit of awareness onto your existing routine, you can start to integrate it into your life. Then, after enough practice, you’ll notice that it’s become second nature.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Creative Act?

    Key ideas in The Creative Act

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Creative Act about?

    The Creative Act (2023) is a meditative manifesto about what it really means to be an artist. It contends that artists don’t have a monopoly on creativity – everyone is inherently creative. To access that creativity you just need to commit to a creative practice. By cultivating an awareness of the world around you and allowing yourself to make lots of mistakes, you’ll be able to revel in the creative process, instead of fearing it.

    Who should read The Creative Act?

    • Music lovers looking for inspiration from a world-famous producer
    • Blocked creatives who want to get over their fears and start making cool stuff
    • Spiritual seekers who want to learn how to delight in the world around them

    About the Author

    Rick Rubin is a nine-time Grammy Award–winning producer. He’s been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine and is widely considered to be the most successful producer of all time. Rubin is the cofounder of Def Jam Recordings and has worked with musicians like Adele, Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy.

    Categories with The Creative Act

    Books like The Creative Act

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial