Faculty Bookshelf

Habits of the Creative Mind

Published Date: Macmillan, 2015
Miller Habits Creative MindHabits of the Creative Mind is a bracingly fresh guide to writing: it is tough minded and feisty in discussing writing; it offers an exciting sense of the uses of modern technology to the writing student; and it is energetically interested in "creative" writing--not fiction or poetry, but writing about the real world with insight and clarity. Miller and Jurecic write with passionate energy about many issues that confront the young writer trying to imagine how to respond to other texts and new ideas, trying to find where to start, trying to move past summary into questioning, arguing, saying something. They don't care about the five-paragraph essay that too many young writers have been taught in public schools. They care about turning writers first into thinkers; and then moving from tough thinking into discovering how much they have to say. That is: they care about the curiosity that is fundamental to good writing. When they talk about "writing's magical powers," they show how "creative" is their thinking. Even the three readings they have chosen witness the ambition of this book: Ta-Nehisi Coates's "Fear of a Black President," Jill Lepore's "The Last Amazon: Wonder Woman Returns," and Susan Sontag's "Looking at War." In summary: a bracing challenge to conventional approaches to teaching writing.