The Practice: Shipping Creative Work audiobook
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So far, it’s one big pep talk with many things I disagree with. The author constantly talks about creating for other people, how it’s a form of leadership, etc. He quotes a designer who says, “it is not all about you,” and that you should create art to “help everyone get along,” which they say is important in our capitalist society. Sorry, but I’m not such an idealist that I think my instrumentals are magically going to make someone go, “Wow, sounds great I think I’ll start being nice to people!” And he talks as though this is my DUTY. In fact, he categorically states that art happens when you change someone “No change, no art,” he says. I beg to differ. Most art that I appreciate and enjoy doesn’t change who I am.
The whole thing rubs me the wrong way. It’s called self-expression, not selfless expression. I create, first and foremost, because *I* enjoy doing so. Is that selfish? Maybe. Is that a bad thing? Of course not.
In short, read this book if you think the goal of your art should be to change the world and other people. If you create for any other reason, skip it unless you want to start questioning whether you’re even an artist. It’s a pep talk that will make you feel worse about your art and your purpose for creating it.
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When I find myself in times of creative trouble, need some words of wisdom, and Mother Mary is a little preoccupied (see: date), I turn to my go-to books. The “Tao Te Ching” is always a good one. When I need the big guns down with you, Resistance! I call in Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” and “Going Pro.” And now, there is a new book that combines aspects of all three: “The Practice”, by Seth Godin.
A main thrust of the book is to dismantle myths about creative output. Creativity is not a special talent reserved for the elect; you don’t have to wait for the muse; wherever you are now is fine. You just have to get started and, above all, establish a regular practice (hence the title). Sure, a lot of what you produce will be dreck. That’s okay, because in that big pile of dreck, a small fraction will be great. But you won’t get the hits without the dreck.
Early in the book, Seth serves us this list of what it means to establish a practice:
“We can adopt a practice. Here are the surprising truths that have been hidden by our desire for those perfect outcomes, the ones industrial recipes promise but never quite deliver: Skill is not the same as talent. A good process can lead to good outcomes, but it doesnt guarantee them. Perfectionism has nothing to do with being perfect. Reassurance is futile. Hubris is the opposite of trust. Attitudes are skills. Theres no such thing as writers block. Professionals produce with intent. Creativity is an act of leadership. Leaders are imposters. All criticism is not the same. We become creative when we ship the work. Good taste is a skill.”
That’s a lot of wisdom in the space of 109 words, much of it counterintuitive, which Seth then unpacks in 8 sections. What does it mean to trust yourself, and to be generous with your art? How do you go pro? How important is intent? Are creative constraints good or bad?
One by one, Seth dismantles the excuses and blocks creators unwittingly make up for themselves, such that by the end of the book, you just might say, “Hey, I think can do this, too.”
Each chapter is a short, memorable little nugget with anecdotes that stay with you. I especially appreciated the quotes from other wise people and the stories from great artists like Joni Mitchell about their creative process.
This book felt like a jolt of concentrated wisdom, like one of Seth’s workshops in written form. He’s been walking the path of creativity and entrepreneurship for 4 decades and taught thousands of individuals, so what he shares in “The Practice” rings true to me. If you’d like to light up a booster rocket under your butt and establish a prolific practice of creating work that matters, “The Practice” is your indispensable guide and companion. It’s my new go-to book for years to come. May you let it be a catalyst to *your* greatness.
— Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., Happiness Engineer, executive coach, and author of
, the highest-rated dating book on Amazon for 7 years, and
Audiobook The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin
I love the book. I don’t love that I paid 30% more for being on the advance notice list from Seth. Don’t punish your followers!
Audio The Practice: Shipping Creative Work narrated by Seth Godin
A Professional Creator creates something and sells it to someone else.
If you are a Professional Creator or aspire to be a Professional Creator, I definitely and highly recommend that you read, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work, by Seth Godin. Seth has spent more than 40 years being a Professional Creator and teaching others how to be a professional creator. In my opinion, this book is his magnum opus on how to be a professional creator. He provides tremendous breadth and depth on the life of being a Professional Creator.
This book is like an organized stream of consciousness by a master who has been immersed in this topic his entire career. He provides his definition on words like art, practice, creativity, intention, generosity, and so much more. He does not lay out a step-by-step recipe, but rather a mindset. He talks passionately about the importance of trusting your self, your work, and your audience. He defies age-old myths like writer’s block.
This book zooms quickly and provides great depth on the key topics relevant to being a Professional Creator. I believe if you will dedicate yourself to this book for 3-4 hours you will work away with a new vision of your future, and a new belief in your ability to impact and change parts of the world.
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Loved his interview with Tim Ferriss–and thoroughly enjoy his blog. However, this book is redundant (it could benefit from a good edit), and feels like it could easily be a 2,000-word article.
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