The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself
by Roberta Allen

Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003. ISBN 061826924X.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 06/30/2003

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

At first glance, The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself appears to be a book you could breeze through in an afternoon. But after spending a few minutes with author Roberta Allen's format, one soon discovers that there is a whole world of self-discovery packed into these 213 pages.

The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself is "A Creative Workbook to Inspire Self-Discovery." Allen's book is unlike any workbook I have ever used or read in the past. Writing prompts paired with photographs coax creativity through verbal and visual pathways.

Allen's prompts encourage us to go deep within: "Imagine this woman seeing you exactly the way you want to be seen. What does she see?" She encourages us to be reflective: "What keeps you from being still?" And, she brings us to a point of making dreams realities: "Imagine yourself floating among these clouds in harmony with everyone and everything. What can you do to make that happen?"

The writing prompts have much greater impact because Allen has carefully paired them with photographic images that draw us in or push us further in our dreaming, our thinking and our writing.

Roberta Allen is a creativity coach, writing instructor, and author of several fiction and non-fiction books. After reading The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself—and working through the activities therein—I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of her book The Playful Way to Serious Writing.

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