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52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity

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52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity

52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity.

Used by permission of Jeffrey Yamaguchi.

The Bottom Line

Jeffrey Yamaguchi's "52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity" began as a challenge to himself to set down fifty-two projects that he either had done or aspired to do. In 2002 he began to post them online, at www.52projects.com, and from this site and the dialogue it generated, the book was born. "52 Projects" is a hands-on invitation to introspection and creative activity, perfect for inspiring a more artful life.


  • "52 Projects" is a proactive approach to combating life's doldrums.
  • Hands-on ways to infuse your life with creativity.
  • Offers ways to change your outlook, at much less than a shrink would charge.
  • Focuses on creativity for the sake of creativity, and for the sake of a better, more inspired life.
  • For those burned out on therapy or self-help culture, this book is a refreshing change.


  • For those seeking dramatic spiritual or psychological changes, this book will not provide answers.


  • Includes writing prompts: "Write erotic stories that all take place in a laundromat."
  • Additional suggestions in the margins: "Write down your most vivid Christmas memory."
  • Other projects focus on memory, often encouraging crafts, photography, and artwork.

Guide Review - 52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity

Because so much of a writer's life, can focus on the end results of creativity -- namely publishing -- Jeffrey Yamaguchi's book, "52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity," was a refreshing reminder of why we create in the first place. The book makes a good case for taking on creative projects to fight off general malaise due to unfulfilling jobs or relationships, or to break a routine of television and web surfing. He writes, "I like the way the process of creating a project makes me feel, the things that I learn, how it energizes and inspires me, the opportunities I find within each step along the way, and, of course, the end result."

Though some of the projects initially struck me as hokey, the book had its intended effect. As I turned the pages, I began to think in terms of projects, envisioning variations on those listed, as the author intended. There was something comforting in a book with such seemingly simple goals. The point was not to create great art, or even functional objects, but to begin to conceive of life differently. "52 Projects" is not intended to turn you into an artist, or cure you of deep-seated issues. Rather, it is a hands-on invitation to introspection and creative activity. In our goal-oriented society, perhaps a list of suggestions is the smartest way for us to begin to achieve a richer, more introspective, more spontaneous way of living.

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