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The Creative Sandbox Way: Your Path to a Full-Color Life, by Melissa Dinwiddie

The Creative Sandbox Way
by Melissa Dinwiddie

“This is a path more of us desire and need to follow. It’s time. And Melissa is the right guide.”

-PATTI DIGH, best-selling author of Life is a Verb, Creative is a Verb, and 6 other books

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  • Chris Guillebeau, NYT best-selling author of <em>The Happiness of Pursuit</em> and <em>The $100 Startup</em>
    It's one part field guide, one part creative practice—and I loved it. The Creative Sandbox Way is an adventure packaged as a book.
    Chris Guillebeau, NYT best-selling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup
  • Jennifer Louden, author of <em>The Woman’s Comfort Book</em> and <em>The Life Organizer</em>, founder of The Oasis
    What I love about Melissa’s work — from her talks to her podcast and now this gem of a book — is that I get unstuck simply by listening or reading whatever she has to say. She so authentically lives her message of creative play that her words are always an uplifting transmission that lifts me right into creating - like a sparkly gentle but insistent wave. You will love her spirit and her many useful suggestions!
    Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and The Life Organizer, founder of The Oasis
  • Jeffrey Davis, author of <em>The Journey from the Center to the Page</em> and <em>Coat Thief</em>
    If you think you're not talented enough, witty enough, or practiced enough to play in the creative arena, think again. At Melissa's Dinwiddie's playground everyone is welcome to test things out and get messy. The Creative Sandbox Way offers a joy-filled path for all of us to recover what she calls a truly life-changing practice: our creativity.
    Jeffrey Davis, author of The Journey from the Center to the Page and Coat Thief

Want to Live a Full-Color Life?

Rose doodle from The Creative Sandbox Way by Melissa DinwiddieNeed a boost in your momentum and confidence? Life is too short to not express the innate creativity inside of you and The Creative Sandbox Way is your path to living a more creative life than you ever thought possible. 

Filled with paradigm-shifting lessons and stories, journal questions, thought-provoking creative prompts, and coloring pages, The Creative Sandbox Way offers 10 "guideposts" and "creative invitations" with each guidepost that will help you take the fear out of creating and bring back the joy.

Abstract doodle from The Creative Sandbox Way by Melissa DinwiddieUnlike other creativity books, this is not a 12-week course, and it doesn't require a huge time investment. It is short, but power-packed.

An excellent antidote for creative burnout, as well as a primer for anyone just getting started with creative pursuits, whatever your form of creative expression and level of expertise, this playbook for creative living will help you learn to be comfortable with and embrace your own, authentic creativity, while offering a compassionate approach to dealing with your demons.

Whether you’re stalled by perfectionism, impostor complex, or any other form of resistance, you’ll find a treasure box of tools to help you move forward, learn to play again, create more work, and infuse your life with more happiness as a result.

  • Patti Digh, best-selling author of <em>Life is a Verb</em>, <em>Creative is a Verb</em>, and 6 other books
    This is a path more of us desire and need to follow. It’s time. And Melissa is the right guide.
    Patti Digh, best-selling author of Life is a Verb, Creative is a Verb, and 6 other books
  • Mary Anne Radmacher, author of “Courage Doesn’t Always Roar”
    Engage with Melissa in her Creative Sandbox and allow her to whimsically reconnect you to the creativity present to children. Have fun, be surprised, and PLAY!
    Mary Anne Radmacher, author of “Courage Doesn’t Always Roar”

What You'll Learn with this Book

Not just a book to read, The Creative Sandbox Way is an interactive playbook, filled with practical tips and tools to help you ditch self-doubt and angst, and approach your creativity freely and joyfully.

Throughout the book you'll find creative prompts designed to get you taking action. You will readwrite, doodle and color your way past your mental blocks and back to creative joy!

You will learn:


Hippo says to buy The Creative Sandbox Way!

HOW to get creating

Melissa's 10 fool-proof "guideposts" that have helped thousands of people just like you back to creative joy.

Waggy dog says to get The Creative Sandbox Way!

WHY "I'm not creative" is a lie

Where that false belief comes from, and more importantly, how to bust it.

Weird Bird says to buy The Creative Sandbox Way!

WHY creative play is essential

5 reasons why creative play is good for YOU, and for the world! (It's NEUROSCIENCE, baby!)

Snail says to buy The Creative Sandbox Way, too!

HOW to turn creative blocks into friends

Seriously. You'll never look at a block the same way again!

  • David Roche, inspirational humorist and author of <em>The Church of 80% Sincerity</em>
    The Creative Sandbox Way belongs on the bookshelf next to Annie Lamott's Bird by Bird. I love it that this book is so encouraging; even in your darkest moody places, you will not be able to escape the encouragement. My favorite guidepost: "Just start anywhere." My favorite quote: "The path of imperfection is the path of joy." All through the book I found "keepers" to help me on my creative path. And I love Dinwiddie's drawings. Buy three copies: one for the bedside, one for your desk, one for the bathroom.
    David Roche, inspirational humorist and author of The Church of 80% Sincerity

Who Should Read It

  • David Blatner, author and co-publisher,
    Melissa gently and enthusiastically guides you along your creative path, no matter what your particular path is. You can't help but get pulled in to play in this sandbox.
    David Blatner, author and co-publisher,

What Else You'll Find Inside

The Creative Sandbox Way isn't just a book, it's a combination text, workbook/journal, coloring book and life-changing course.

Take a look at the "table of contents":

Creative Sandbox Way
And here's a peek at just a few examples of the kinds of pages you'll find inside:

Writing Prompt and Doodle Prompt Pages

Throughout the book you'll find "creative invitations" — writing prompts to get you thinking and shifting your mindset, and irresistible doodle prompts to get you scribbling your own "crappy doodles."

Abstract Coloring Pages

Abstract coloring pages from The Creative Sandbox Way by Melissa Dinwiddie

Calligraphy Coloring Pages

Melissa's inspiring quotes in Melissa's hand calligraphy, turned into coloring pages:

Inspiring creativity quotes, created as coloring pages in calligraphy by Melissa Dinwiddie for The Creative Sandbox Way

Here's what others have had to say about the changes they've experienced from Creative Sandbox thinking:

Testimonials for the Power of the Creative Sandbox

  • Tanya Christie
    You have revolutionized the way I approach my art in just one week! You are a genius!
    Tanya Christie
  • Lesley Rosewood
    I don't think I've laughed so much in just my own company since I was a child, to just laugh in response to playing - no external inputs from others, just allowing myself to play.
    Lesley Rosewood
  • Lara Grauer
    The Creative Sandbox has inspired me to just get over it and do this already!
    Lara Grauer
  • Lynelle Eck
    It was invaluable for me; I'm not only back on track to finish and publish my book, I've also learned a process that will help if I derail again or decide to undertake a new creative endeavor.
    Lynelle Eck

About the Author

Artist, author, speaker, singer/songwriter, and creativity instigator, Melissa Dinwiddie helps creatives take the fear out of their creativity and bring back the joy, AND she helps "non-creatives" reclaim their innate entitlement to creative play and unleash their inner artists.

A former "non-creative" herself, and a recovering perfectionist, Melissa suffered through creative blocks of all sorts and climbed her way past them. Now she's on mission to change the conversation around creative expression and play, because not only does creating make you feel more alive — it’s how you change the world!

Melissa shares her writings, artwork, and music on her blog, Living A Creative Life (, where you can also find her podcast, Live Creative Now! When she's not instigating other people's creativity, she can usually be found doodling, playing her ukulele, or doing improv.

Island doodle from The Creative Sandbox Way by Melissa Dinwiddie, colored with Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils

The Creative Sandbox Way

Start Living Life in Full Color

Buy on Amazon and start transforming your relationship with your creativity now.

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  • Carla Olson
    I was out hiking with my dogs and thinking about my Creative Sandbox experience—how quickly some of the walls I had built were starting to erode, how you are point-on for those inner fears & gremlin chatter, how much this all resonates, and what a gift it was. I can't thank you enough for sharing of yourself, your experiences & journey, and providing a hand to those of us learning to re-embrace our creative self.
    Carla Olson
  • Michele Gauler
    Your Creative Sandbox concept has done something big in a short time... It opened my eyes, or more importantly my heart to something that I think I will not forget. I have experienced the power of play and experimentation and of doing a piece of small joyful art every day. I can feel how this is having an impact on my life and work and I am amazed.
    Michele Gauler


Share the Creative Joy!

Melissa Dinwiddie - Hooray!!!