20 Nuggets of Wisdom from Rick Rubin’s New Book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being - 20 Nuggets of Wisdom from Rick Rubin’s New Book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being -
mary fedorowski


Close Popup
20 Nuggets of Wisdom from Rick Rubin’s New Book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being

20 Nuggets of Wisdom from Rick Rubin’s New Book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
May 29, 2023


Rick Rubin is a music producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slayer, and Beastie Boys. He has developed his own unique approach to the creative process, which he calls “the path.”

Rubin is equal parts buddhism, listening, and creative shepherding. HIs ability to be in the room without imposing himself has meant he has become a trusted confidant for some of the best musicians this planet has ever known.

They trust him to give them vital creative feedback. And it’s not often super technical or specific – it has to do with embracing the process of creation and flexing one’s intuition.

Rubin begins by immersing himself in the work of the artist he is working with. He tries to understand their vision and what they are trying to achieve. Then he provides them with space to create, without interference or input from him. Once the artist has something tangible – a song, a painting, etc. – Rubin will offer feedback and suggestions for how to make it even better. Finally, he helps them to polish their work and get it ready for release.


Putting The Creative Act Into Practice

The first step is understanding what The Creative Act is and how it can help you harness your creative potential. Once you have a clear understanding of The Creative Act, you can begin to implement it into your own life. 

There are four key steps to implementing The Creative Act:

1) Be open to new ideas: Be receptive to new and innovative ideas, even if they seem far-fetched at first. It is important to consider all possibilities and think outside the box.

2) Take risks: Be willing to take risks and experiment with new things. This is where creativity comes from – pushing boundaries and trying new things.

3) Embrace failure: Embrace failure as part of the creative process. Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. Without failure, we would never progress or improve.

4) Persevere: Persevere through the tough times and keep going even when it feels impossible. Creativity is not always easy, but it is worth it in the end.

Beyond that, Rubin offers nuggets throughout the entire text making this book the kind of thing you just need to have in your line of vision, and around you in your space, so that it can imprint you through osmosis.

It’s also the perfect thing to pop open to a random page for the type of guidance it might have in store for you.

As an artist and a creative strategist, Rubin’s work has been essential, and is easily my favorite book in the last few years.

rick rubin creative act way of being amazon.png


20 Nuggets of Wisdom from The Creative Act

  • ‘Creativity is a fundamental aspect of being human. It’s our birthright. And it’s for all of us.’
  • ‘To live as an artist is a way of being in the world.’
  • ‘The world pulses with productive energy, and everything that exists on this planet is driven by that energy.’
  • ‘If you have an idea you’re excited about and you don’t bring it to life, it’s not uncommon for the idea to find its voice through another maker.’
  • ‘We are all antennae for creative thought.’
  • ‘When we cultivate our awareness, we are expanding the universe.’
  • ‘Notice connections and consider where they lead.’
  • ‘Look for what you notice but no one else sees.’
  • ‘A practice is the embodiment of an approach to a concept.’
  • ‘The objective is not to learn to mimic greatness, but to calibrate our internal meter for greatness.’
  • ‘Keeping a dream journal might be of use.’
  • ‘We’re affected by our surroundings, and finding the best environment to create a clear channel is personal and to be tested. It also depends on your intention.’
  • ‘Our thoughts, feelings, processes, and unconscious beliefs have an energy that is hidden in the work.’
  • ‘When we make a discovery that serves our work, it’s not unusual to concretize this into a formula.’
  • ‘Beware of the assumption that the way you work is the best way simply because it’s the way you’ve done it before.’
  • ‘Communication moves in two directions, even when one person speaks and another listens silently.’
  • ‘Listening is suspending disbelief.’
  • ‘There are no shortcuts.’
  • ‘Innocence brings forth innovation.’
  • ‘The beauty around us enriches our lives in so many ways. It is an end in itself. And it sets an example for our own work.’


The Creative Act is a powerful book that can help you harness your creative potential. By understanding the creative process and putting The Creative Act into practice, you can unlock your creativity and tap into your hidden potential. 

So what are you waiting for? Get started today and see the amazing things you can achieve!

Purchase your copy of The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin via Bookshop.org, which supports local bookstores.

give back to a creative cause

Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
May 29, 2023