Book Review: Keri Smith's Living Out Loud

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Keri Smith has been on my radar for a while now with Wreck This Journal and other quirky (for lack of a better word) books she's created for this in need of a creative boost. Living Out Loud was one of her works that I hadn't heard of before but immediately new I had to read when I saw it lying on my parents' bookshelf. It's spiral-bound pages, hardback cover, and bright colours scream inspiration and creativity. Because of the nature of the book, a source of inspiration for creatives and non-creatives alike, it's easy to flip through and find something that'll get you going. There are personal anecdotes from Smith as well as fun exercises that don't always follow the typical 'do this to get inspired artistically' pattern you see usually when you Google 'HOW DO I INSPIRE MYSELF AGAIN?' frantically at 2am. Speaking from experience? Was it that obvious?

The spiral-bound pages, some perforated, provide the perfect environment for cut-out activities as well as pages of stickers, postcards with inspirational messages, and small tear-out mantras when you're in need. Other pages fold out in order to jam the book with even more creatively-juicy material. Although I'm not directly in a creative career or studying a creative subject, I still found this book really useful just as a way to get re-inspired with live. There are sections on personal motivation, brightening up dull days, activities for growth, etc. It's not just a book for creative inspiration, but one for bettering yourself, whether with transformative play in the garden or organising your space if you live in piles.

I really would recommend Living Out Loud to anyone who likes books to give them a boost. It's one you can pick up and flick through again and again when you need a quick pat on the head and gentle kick in the right direction. The sections on journalling resonated with me especially, inspiring me to start creating journals again! Also at the end of the book is a bibliography of texts she would personally recommend on creativity, great journal-keepers, and inspirational women. Let's just say it's added a lot to this year's TBR pile.

*****/5

M x

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