… true happiness rests on discovering and pursuing an absorbing errand that satisfies your need for expression and keeps your focus “outside” yourself. — Janna Malamud Smith, from an absorbing errand
I began reading an absorbing errand on an airplane. I was headed to visit my family, fresh off of an intense year of trying to balance my day job, a small fine craft business, and fledgling artistic endeavors. Flying peacefully above the clouds was the perfect way to experience this beautifully crafted book. Author and psychotherapist Janna Malamud Smith’s prose reads like a poem. It went straight to the heart of my struggles as an artist and a maker. Weaving a blend of history, psychoanalysis, and first-person accounts from artists and writers, the author’s voice is truly therapeutic as she delves deeply into the challenges all creative people experience in the process of mastering a craft. I began this book wondering if the struggle to keep creating was even worth it. The book moved me deeply. It helped me understand and put a name on the rigors and joys of the process. I cried as I finished reading it, recommitted to bringing my creative gifts to the world again and again, no matter how imperfect the process or results.