Updated: Dec 20, 2021
You may be wondering why on earth I would even consider reading a non-fiction, self-help book. I certainly would have wondered the same thing a year or more ago if I looked at myself today. For the majority of my life, I have been a fiction and only fiction type of girl, never open to any type of non-fiction ever. In fact, if I had to read non-fiction for school I probably didn't read and made it up as I went along when it came to the test. It worked for me most of the time (but don't try that at home kids!).
But more recently, I have been trying to get into the non-fiction world. I have taken a look at my life and gone, "hey, Hannah, you're coming into adulthood now. You need to be sure you are taking excellent care of yourself." So more and more I have been reading my bible, journaling, praying. I have taken better care of my skin, my hair, my nails. I am working out more (that's definitely a surprise, that doesn't sound like me) and I try to make sure I'm not eating too much unhealthy stuff all the time.
But I've known in the back of my mind there's always more I can do to be sure I am staying healthy. And one of those things is reading non-fiction, self-help books.
Now, having only read fiction books all my life, I am no expert on this genre and so when I knew I was going to the library and wanted to pick up some books, I researched ahead of time which books I wanted to pick up. I made myself a whole list of books I wanted to read with the summer I have left. And then made myself a smaller list of a couple of books I wanted to pick up on this library visit and where they were in the library.
Funnily enough, this one wasn't on it. Actually, it was the fact that one of the others that were on it had been checked out that prompted me to look for another book. This was the one that sparked my attention. And then reading the blurbs (is that what they're called?) of each of the books on the way home, this was the one that looked the most interesting and the most helpful for where I'm at right now.
Shut Your Monkey it's called with the descriptive line of How to Control Your Inner Critic and Get More Done. Danny Gregory has apparently written many other books and having now read this one and loved it, I would perhaps check out some of his others. Gregory does an excellent job of explaining what the Monkey (the voice inside your head) is, how to recognize it and tell it apart from your own voice, and how to overcome it. The book is strewn with examples of people who recognized their own monkeys, some who recognized too late and missed their chance to do something amazing with their creativity, and some who were able to recognize that their monkeys were trying to stop them from doing something amazing and who were able to do something amazing anyway. Gregory specifically targets creatives, pointing out that because of our imaginative brains, our monkeys tend to be more active (not going to lie, he's right on the nose with that one) and teaching the reader how to work through an actively talking monkey, to build up a pile of work, to push through and keep being creative because that is what the world needs. This book is amazing and I am glad Danny Gregory was able to push through his inner monkey speaking to write it because it was exactly what I needed. I would highly recommend it to anyone whether struggling with that inner voice or not, whether creative or not, this book is amazing, impactful and truly a creative work of art (despite/because of the hilarious childish drawings).