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In the tradition of Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way series, and the writings of Elizabeth Gilbert, Birdlight is easily in a class all its own thanks to Robin Blackburn McBride’s deep, intuitive understanding of the creative process and how to spark it to life.
Weaving memoir, folklore, drama, and poetry with the power of brain science to shed light on the creative process, this warm and friendly guide is a must-read for budding artists, innovators, and decision makers at any age and from any walk of life.
- If you know in your heart that it’s time to finally act upon that creative calling you feel deep down inside…
- If you tend to begin great creative projects but never finish them, stalling as your energy, enthusiasm, and vision fade…
- If you ever see yourself as an “uncreative person” and you’d love to free the creative spirit that’s been locked up inside too long…
Then Birdlight is written just for you!
In this book, you’ll discover how to tap into that spiritual core which is the source of all creativity. You’ll align yourself with your own deep-seated sense of meaning and purpose and then apply these principles and strategies to not just your “art” but your career, your family—in fact, to every area of your life! And that’s when life itself begins to get easier—because you’re more inspired, productive, and fulfilled, and because every day becomes a gift.
Find out more about Birdlight:
Praise for Birdlight
“Robin Blackburn McBride demonstrates what it takes to create a vision and truly live it. She brilliantly communicates, guides, and shares what it takes to be a successful, conscious creator. Birdlight is unique, as Robin explores creativity through the meanings, messages, and stories of birds. This transformational book is for anyone who has a desire to create their dream project—and dream life. A highly uplifting read!”
—Peggy McColl, New York Times Best-selling Author
“I loved this book. As soon as I finished it (in one sitting) I wanted to re-read it and immediately dive into the exercises. Robin’s disarming and intimate prose is the next best thing to having your personal life coach beside you whispering encouragement in your ear. If you are a creative person, or think you are or wish you could be, Birdlight will help you define your life journey with confidence.
—Simon Choa-Johnston, Playwright, Theatre Director, and Author of The House of Wives and The House of Daughters
“Robin Blackburn McBride is a passionate writer and coach who truly understands the creative process. Birdlight is a must-read for anyone seeking access to the immensity of their own creative power and the ability to bring it into form with grace.”
—Rodney Flowers, Best-selling Author of Get Up! and Essential Assertions
“In Birdlight, author Robin Blackburn McBride pulls back the curtain on the process by which creativity “works,” masterfully weaving poems, folk tales, and art into her stories to simultaneously transport and transform her reader. If you’re yearning for fulfillment and purpose through achievement, I highly recommend this thought-provoking and practical book.”
—Mick Peterson, Best-selling Author of Stella and the Timekeepers
“In Birdlight, Robin Blackburn McBride has written an authentically raw and genuine account of the creative process. I cherish her honesty as she reflects on what a labor of love truly is—and what it takes to bring a dream to fruition.”
—Banafsheh Akhlaghi, Attorney and Best-selling Author of Beautiful Reminders: Anew
“Robin inspires change in the lives of others as a transformational life coach, author, and speaker, and as an incredible creative and intuitive soul. These chapters are meditations and practical instructions on the creative process. As you read and work through them, you’ll find that, all the more, you bring your light to the world.”
—Carolyn Flower, Best-selling Author of Gravitate 2 Gratitude—Journal Your Journey, and CEO of Carolyn Flower International
Read an Excerpt from Birdlight
The Owl: Freeing Your Courage
What you seek is seeking you.
A Fairy Tale
“The Owl,” a little-known, yet in some ways all-too-familiar, Grimm brothers tale begins with “one of the great owls” from the woods seeking haven in a local townsman’s barn. At dawn, the owl doesn’t leave her newfound perch.
The servant who first sets eyes on her is so alarmed that he announces a monster has arrived in the community, and news of the great horned visitor soon wreaks havoc on the town. Townsperson after townsperson, each bearing arms, attempts to slay “the strange, grim creature,” only to flee the barn in terror. Eventually, even the mightiest warrior loses his nerve at the sight of the secretly bewildered animal as she resorts to rolling her eyes (presumably the third eyelids that owls have), ruffling her feathers, flapping her wings, harshly snapping her beak and crying “tuwhit, tuwhoo” — at which the warrior nearly faints, falling back to the rallying crowd. The townsfolk then accuse the monster of poisoning and mortally wounding the very strongest of men among them. “So,” the tale concludes, “they set fire to the barn at all four corners, and with it the owl was miserably burnt.”
Of course, the story’s ending is both credible and eerily predictable. The owl, long associated with wisdom, intuition, magic, and vision, is a target from the start, its large presence perceived as both startling and strange. Each witness views the creature as a threat, and each agrees with the unsettling being’s destruction.
What Scares Us: Some Thoughts on Navigating Rejection
I read “The Owl” while researching my second novel, on the heels of receiving several publishers’ rejections of my first. Bewildered, I was tempted to view my spurned manuscript like that unwelcome bird — a doomed creation, too strange and grim for a major house to take a risk on. Over the years of visioning, researching, writing, and revising that novel, I had found reason to believe in its worth — not just to me, but to others. Several readers, including an established novelist, a teacher, and a prominent literary agent, had rallied behind my work. Buoyed by their support and guided by my own strong intuition, I had taken the risk of leaving a twenty-year teaching career and leapt faithfully to the rafters of a new life. Over five months, I had reworked the novel with an editor. I’d invested time in taking my historical research further, and consulted an addiction specialist to verify the realism of my protagonist’s interior life — something I’d worked hard to establish. After the agent read my revised copy, she praised the work (which meant a lot, coming from someone who does not readily pay compliments), and I (ha, ha) visualized an immediate sale. When rejection e-mails followed, it took strength and mental conditioning not to see them as swords and flames.
If I read “The Owl” as a metaphor for my novel (or, worse, for me) — a victim of external forces — I knew the bird had no hope of flying. At times I began to doubt my work, replaying critics’ words in my mind. It was tempting to leave the file in the drawer.
What happens when a sensitive and committed creative person experiences rejection? And why begin a book on unblocking, developing, and trusting creativity with such a story? Of course, the answers to the first question will vary widely, depending on who is being asked. In this chapter, I’ll show you the answers of two people — the young and vulnerable person I once was and the more consciously focused and resilient person I became — in order to illustrate two very different possibilities. In so doing, I hope to show the reason for beginning what seeks to be an uplifting and motivational book with a barn burning.
Illustration credit: Chum McLeod