Linda A. Firestone, Ph.D.

Awakening Minerva:
The Power of Creativity in Women’s Lives

The creative paths of the women in this book have not necessarily been easy, but in the final analysis they have been the least painful and the most liberating possible for that particular woman. They have had to work to recognize their essential creative natures and to develop their personal visions ... The quest for knowledge and understanding, like the nature of creativity itself, challenges everything. Once a woman chooses to honor her essential creative nature, she, in the spirit of that commitment, also chooses to recognize and accept her own creative voice. The process of being engaged in creating her life strengthens her core spirit and determination for creative expression. That commitment and the reawakening of her potential can be reached by a woman regardless of age, education, and ethnic and economic background. The opportunity for seeking and becoming a creative being remains the same whether a woman has spent her life working as an artist, nurse, executive, teacher, volunteer, professional, or homemaker. Whether a beginner or long-time student of creativity, public or private in her expression, amateur or professional, there is always more to be sought and revealed from the woman/​Goddess within...

There is a direct relationship between the way a woman defines the act of creating and the path she takes to personally express her essential creative nature. The definitions held by a woman and the style by which she lives her life are complementary. Of the women interviewed for this book, if creativity was understood in the context of personal expression, those women also saw their lives through the need to express themselves in everything they did. If creativity was defined as the ability to take risks and maintain and openness to life, those women demonstrated the need to take risks and to push themselves on into the unknown. If creativity was defined as transformation and the act of making something new, the women who defined it as such had an approach to the world with that same focus. These transformations would occur in a variety of areas: personal relationships, work, or emotional responses ... The act of engaging the process of transformation always led these women to experience something new. The positive alteration of personal vision and inner knowledge ... results in the strengthening of personal expression, the ability to take risks, and the desire to create. These definitions are not just the reflections of an intellectual exercise. They are paramount to a woman’s ability to define her vision.

The decision to explore creativity becomes an adventure in process. One step leads to the next. Like a child learning to walk, there is one way to accomplish the goal, one step at a time. We meet the challenge to release the creative force within by embracing it. Every action sets off a reaction and brings forth the need to make another choice. Every step voluntarily taken propels a woman forward. Every step not taken either stops the process or sends the woman retreating to something old, something known ... Whether a woman chooses to find her essential creative nature and its associative powers or is stopped by fear of the process, she is making a choice...

A woman in the process creating her life must see all that is within her domain. Her mind and her spirit contain the potential for great invention, if she learns to exercise the imagination, the intellect, the emotions, and the spiritual realm together. If she allows herself to be open to the possibilities and to imagine herself as creator of her own life and personal expression, the potential is astounding. Indeed, the process of creating demands that a woman learn to function both as the inventor and the critic. That is how the end product, be it a tangible thing or a thought, comes into being...

Whether public or private, the world will benefit when a woman fulfills her creative potential by bringing to her life and the lives she touches daily that which is uniquely hers. Her vision expands her domain ... Creativity challenges the parameters of what a woman believes possible for herself. Without the engagement there are no failures, no successes, no knowledge or understanding of one’s self or one’s life, no place for possibility. A woman can always choose to live a life of sameness and numbness, and can slowly, painfully, continue to repress her creative spirit and the power within. Which do you choose?
(excerpts from pp. 260-266)

Selected Works

Fiction: short stories
Web writing and Essay Collections
Varied topics
non-fiction general trade magazine Articles
The list of selected articles below reveals the range of topics covered by Linda A. Firestone
Creativity lies within each woman -- seek it out and it will be yours.