I'm a writer, knitter, freelance editor, and independent publisher. This blog is an older one that I no longer update; please visit http://independentstitch.com for all updated information!

Deb Robson and Tussah

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February 07, 2008


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Lois de Vries

Hi Deb,

Nice post. I've found that making the trade-off between fitting in and being myself had no positive outcome, whereas making my own meaning has paid happiness dividends over and over.

Abby Franquemont

Oh my God! I'm looking for the book now.

Depression caused by meaninglessness truly almost ruined my life a couple of years ago. It's why I left my Silicon Valley career one I truly came to grips with the fact that I'd gone as far in it as I was ever going to, and that the point I'd reached was one where I sold my entire life one day at a time for stuff that nobody gave a wet slap about at all in the larger picture. Or even the medium-er picture. ;-)


I am so buying this book!


Thank you, thank you thank you for this incredibly well-time "smack upside the head". I'll be searching out two copies--one for me, one for my middle, adult child who really needs to hear this now.

Janet Riehl

Love your approach on this post...comprehensive and also in-depth. I'm glad it is moving folks to buy the book. Here's my favorite quote from your own self-revelation (and, I so enjoy how fluid your writing is):

"From the driver's seat, it looks like I've taken one fork in the road after another, sometimes making my best guess about which direction to go and sometimes compelled by the need not to continue with the path I was on mostly because I wasn't sure I was going to survive if I didn't make a dramatic change."

Many, many of us can certainly relate to that!

Janet Riehl

Brenda Johima

Thanks Deb, I have really enjoyed visiting your blog for my first time, and you are a fantastic writer! I love your approach, the way you think, your thorough assessment of the book, and the way you so effortlessly describe that you read and what you believe. I look forward to reading your upcoming book?
- brenda johima -
creative nudge ceativity coach


Geez, I've had about eleventy nine careers already, none of them with enough meaning. I think I need this book.

Thanks Deb.

Carrie K

There are people with meaningful lives who got that way through careful planning?

The book does sounds fabulous.


Thanks so much for the info on this book. It sounds like a must have for me, too.


Alyce Barry

How fascinating it is to me to discover that Maisel is a psychologist! I used his book "The Art of the Book Proposal" to advantage several years ago and often recommend it to writers getting started on their own book. I noticed the Ph.D. after his name, but his bio on the book's back cover says only that he coaches creative people, so that Ph.D. could mean anything! "Practically Shameless" is my own story of depression linked to creativity unexpressed, and now perhaps I understand better why his book on proposals worked so well for me.

I want to comment on one passage you quoted from Maisel's "Van Gogh Blues": "Perhaps making meaning is just an illusion, a trick you play on yourself in order to go on. What if it is?" Years ago I read "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas Kuhn, a book that turned the world of science on its head by suggesting that the scientific theories that reign supreme (he was the person to coin the terms "reigning paradigm" and "paradigm shift") don't reign because they reflect The Truth About The Universe but because they work for what we want to get done at that point in time. When we need steam engines, we're governed by Newtonian physics. When we want to go into space, we switch to Einstein. When we want computers, we accept quantum mechanics.

I personally believe there is meaning in everything; that's part of a Jungian's creed. But even if I didn't (and for 20 years I was an atheist) I would still agree with Kuhn that if believing that life has meaning *works better for you in your life,* then I say, Go for it.

Three family members suffer from recurring, crippling depression, and I've noticed that one thing they really struggle with is hope. It becomes so painful to hope if you believe your hopes might be dashed one more time that eventually it becomes too risky to hope at all. Finding meaning in life gives me hope every day.

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