The Psychology of Creative Writing

The Psychology of Creative Writing takes a scholarly, psychological look at multiple aspects of creative writing, including the creative writer as a person, the text itself, the creative process, the writer’s development, the link between creative writing and mental illness, the personality traits of comedy and screen writers, and how to teach creative writing. This book will appeal to psychologists interested in creativity, writers who want to understand more about the magic behind their talents, and educated laypeople who enjoy reading, writing, or both. From scholars to bloggers to artists, The Psychology of Creative Writing has something for everyone. [Amazon link]


“An outstanding collection of provocative essays. Psychologists, writers, and anyone who likes to read, think, and learn will enjoy this profoundly revealing window into the creative process.”
-Josh Waitzkin, author of The Art of Learning

“[T]his book . . . has an enormous amount of information and insight on the process and practice of creative writing, and I believe writers and non-writers, creative or not, can benefit from its discussions.”
-Piers Anthony

“The Psychology of Creative Writing offers unparalleled insight into the lives, minds, and processes of literary artists. The book is an utterly original and deeply satisfying exploration of the creative writer, a nuanced study that consistently dispels myths and engages the myriad, fascinating complexities of how literature is made. In assembling the book, the editors have opened a new field of inquiry into the psychological experiences, costs, and rewards of the writing life. Every reader and writer is in their debt.”
-Bret Anthony Johnston, Harvard University, author of Corpus Christi: Stories

“It’s an intellectual treat to see the best-known writers in creativity research writing creatively about creative writing. Kaufman and Kaufman have assembled a fine team of scholars to illuminate how people create with the written word.”
-Paul J. Silvia, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, author of How to Write A Lot

“What are the secrets of creative writing? Who are the creative writers? What is so special about what they do (when it works), and how do we help others, or ourselves, to find that magic? Here is psychological research, theory, and experiential wisdom from well-known experts, on creative person, process, product, and cultivation of creativity – both in eminent writers, and in our own everyday efforts. The book rings with value and can open new doors for both scholars and practitioners. A unique contribution – highly recommended.”
-Ruth Richards, Saybrook Graduate School, editor of Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature

“Like a multiperspectival novel itself, with surprising revelations and an interesting cast of characters, this wide-ranging collection by well-known creativity researchers provides a valuable resource about creative writing: where the corroboration and conflicts are among studies, and where opportunities lie for further expanding our understanding of creativity and the literary arts.”
-Seana Moran, Stanford University

“…This rich collection of papers by (mostly) psychologists who research creative writing from a great variety of perspectives offers major sections on the writer, text, process, development, and education… this volume a good one to have at hand.”
-Rebecca Wells Jopling , OnFiction