Mighty Ugly – not me the book !

I am a bit of a self-help junkie.  I wanted a book on creativity to get my juices flowing.  So did a search of my library and found Make it Mighty Ugly by Kim Piper Werker. Of course the title caught my eye!

The book starts with identifying our “heroes”. Or strengths. Things ranging from good with children,  compassionate, good knitter, baker, multi-languages – anything you consider a strength.  After that do you see any themes in your strengths?  Maybe you see leadership or exploration. These are our heroes to call on when blocked creatively.

She writes about creativity demons such as fear of failure, self-doubt and perfectionism. Knowing our demons and living with them.  To be realistic they are never totally going to go away. Maybe under cover for a bit, but they will pop out when we least expect them.

When I read the demons I thought okay basically the same as every other creativity book. Just different label.  The exercise that changed it for me was to make an ugly creature. To gather all my craft supplies and make it ugly. For me that involved not over thinking anything like color combinations, perfect stitches or what felt to glue on. I just grabbed a piece of fabric, cut out a shape and make a mess sewing it up. Remember it is supposed to be ugly so I can’t have lovely even stitching around it.

It was freeing. I sat at the dining room table with a mess around me and well made a mess. I ended up stuffing it with plastic as that is ugly and using the dirtiest ugliest buttons I could find. I had a ball. Seriously. I got to toss perfectionism out the window and no self-doubt that this was ugly.

I thought okay she might be onto something, It is fun to just create with no expectation or over think it. Color outside the lines. Make the sun purple. Give the person three arms. Whatever. Who cares. Enjoy NOT planning and thinking. Ugly can be beautiful. It is the journey. It is creating.

So if you feel stuck make, write, do something ugly with no expectation or end result in mind. It gets you creating and moving. A few others ideas she suggested are make a collage, photo assignment of say three pictures of something red, read a book outside your comfort zone or take a class.

She also stressed getting into a routine of creating. To make your creating a priority. Not something last on your “to do” a list. Remember creating something ugly is still creating!!

It was a fun book to read with the exercises and side stories of other creatives who took a risk.  I’m just touching on a few things in the book so check it out if you feel you need that creative push.

You can always start now!



18 thoughts on “Mighty Ugly – not me the book !

  1. Terri, Reclaiming Hope says:

    Wow, I love this idea! I’ve recently started to try learning watercolor, and if things don’t turn out as expected, I get a little discouraged. Of course, that keeps me from wanting to sit down and work on it — which is the very thing I need to do to get better. I need to apply this method and just paint to be painting…. Thanks for sharing this fabulous idea!


    1. You Can Always Start Now says:

      Make it ugly or enjoy the journey of painting and being present and enjoying that moment in time. Without thinking about the end result. I think we get too caught up in the end result and not enjoy the journey. Plus maybe the journey will take us something else and that is more than okay also.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Elvina Wright says:

    Love it, great concept! I think we get caught up with fear of failing and the desire for things to be perfect. So important to appreciate the journey.
    Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your blogs so much!! xo


  3. Italian Goodness says:

    I like the idea of creating something ugly to free yourself from the stress of always be productive of something good… in my case it may end up in a new disgusting recipe, but maybe something fun to experiment with my daughters… thanks for sharing this interesting book review!


    1. You Can Always Start Now says:

      It was fun to make my “ugly” doll. Not overthinking stuff. Who cares if the buttons don’t match or stitches show. For recipes maybe just giving yourself permission to experiment is enough. You never know maybe adding cinnamon or maple syrup to something might be an ahha!!

      Liked by 1 person

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