SJ Reads: Growing Gills by Jessica Abel

It’s Camp Nano time, so I figured I’d look at some writing/creative books for those who are of the mind. I fell into this title last year, read through it once, and really want to go through again step by step. I’ve sat in a few things Jessica Abel has done, and her mindset to cutting through the excess to help you figure out how to balance and schedule your creative work is one of the best I’ve seen.

We all know we have a lot on our plates. I think sometimes we think that’s a necessary thing, especially when we’re just starting out or trying to rebrand ourselves, or whatever. Sometimes, clinging to all of that at once, though, just isn’t going to help. That’s where Growing Gills comes in.

growing gills


What I love about this is that it’s motivating, but realistic. Abel also really makes the reader get into what’s going on with them internally that could be affecting how they work and how they perceive things. You definitely have to participate in this book and keep an open mind that the way you’ve always done things…the comfortable, good ol’ way you know how, just may not be the best thing for you.

Look, the glow of Nano is going to wear off. Don’t you want to know what to do with your work and how to move toward doing more of that and doing something with it?

This isn’t one of those things that promises that you’ll be completely fixed and all you need to do is believe and do a couple of visualization exercises. This is asking things of you, and asking you to be honest to yourself. But, it also isn’t judgmental and is very much the type of conversation a lot of us really needed to have way before whatever brought us to reading this book. This makes you put in some work, physical and emotional, but, it’s very much a real-world guide to improving your creative situation and making things better than where you’re at now. This will help you chart a path, and that’s something not a lot of us have either done for whatever reason, or completely know how to do.

Her blog is also awesome, and pretty much you just need to look up all of her media and advice, because you will find something between all the various forms it comes in to help you out.

Seriously, though, start by Getting this Book

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