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The Practice: Ship creative work

A new book by Seth Godin  <—–click to order

Creativity matters more than ever, and each of us is being called on to be a Creative. A professional, able to conjure original thought on command.

We tweet, we run meetings, we write. We invent and share ideas. Mostly, we’re in a race to find our voice, change the culture and make an impact that we can be proud of.

Along the way, we’ve also been brainwashed into believing that creativity is a gift, something mysterious that the muse hands to a few select people. We’re not to look at it too closely or it might disappear.

Nonsense.

Creative is a choice.


“Seth’s book is a skeleton key specially molded to unlock the most creative version of you. Read it, and find yourself free to be who you know you really are.” —Brian Koppelman, co-producer and co-creator of Billions 


 

The book ships November 2020. You can pre-order from Amazon or your favorite Indy by clicking here.

The book is based on the Creative’s Workshop, from Akimbo, which runs again in 2021.

We’ll be posting video blurbs here. If you’ve read the book and have something to say, please share! Click this link for the easy steps.

 


The Practice explains that what looks like a barrier is often a catalyst in disguise. Magic may not come from what we can see on the stage but from behind it, where the wood chopping happens.” —Peter Gabriel, Musician


The magic is that there is no magic.

Creativity is a skill, not a talent. It can be learned. If we trust our selves, we can do more than we ever imagined.

The book covers intentional action (a better way to discuss ‘design thinking’), writer’s block (there’s no such thing) and criticism (most of it comes from fear and should be regarded with kindness). It helps people understand genre (not at all like ‘generic’) and the trap of becoming a hack (we must not sacrifice our standards simply to be heard).

Our best work happens when we contribute something new, something generous, something that makes an improvement. And making a contribution isn’t possible until we ship the work.

This is a book about finding your voice. A chance, whatever it is you do for a living, to go beyond where you are and figure out how to do work that matters, work you’re proud of.

It turns out that we’ve misunderstood creativity for a very long time, and that it’s not reserved for a few, and it’s not something to wish for or to be afraid of. It’s ours, whenever we’re ready for it.

The arc of our conversation can revolve around a few ideas, and I can move us forward without you having read the book… basically, I’d like to simply talk and take the discussion where it goes, as opposed to the Larry King sort of prompting.

This book is a capstone of decades of helping people discover that they’re able to find their voice and share it. That we shouldn’t wait for permission, but should figure out the change we seek to make and find a way to show up with our best work.

It’s not about painting or poetry or singing, but it’s about all of those. Because it’s also about leadership, office work, meetings and all the work that leaders need to embrace as well.

If it doesn’t ship, it doesn’t count.


With surgical precision, The Practice attacks our predictable misconceptions about the creative process and replaces them with better ideas, one by one. This book will inspire you to make things, hone your craft, and nudge you to ship things you are proud of. Read it.” —Tobi Lutke, CEO, Shopify


Some of the surprising ideas in the book include:

  • Skill is not the same as talent.
  • A good process can lead to good outcomes, but it doesn’t guarantee them.
  • Perfectionism has nothing to do with being perfect.
  • Reassurance is futile.
  • Hubris is the opposite of trust.
  • Attitudes are skills.
  • There’s no such thing as writer’s 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.

Passion is a choice.

 


“This is the book I need right now. It’s an extraordinary and electrifying call to action for writers, artists and creators in every walk of life. I re-read passages and felt as if my own secret creed was being explained back to me, in words I hadn’t yet found.”
Rosanne Cash, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter\


And some of the things worth riffing on are:

  • Creative is a choice.
  • Avoid certainty.
  • Pick yourself.
  • Results are a by-product.
  • Postpone gratification.
  • Seek joy.
  • Understand genre.
  • Embrace generosity.
  • Ship the work.
  • Learn from what you ship.
  • Avoid reassurance.
  • Dance with fear.
  • Be paranoid about mediocrity.
  • Learn new skills.
  • Create change.
  • See the world as it is.
  • Get better clients.
  • Be the boss of the process.
  • Trust your self.
  • Repeat.

“The Practice is a user’s manual for finding your calling and an alchemist’s handbook for pursuing your dream.” —Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art


 

20. To Be of Service

Isn’t that what we’re here to do?

To do work we’re proud of.

To put ourselves on the hook.

To find the contribution we’re capable of.

The only way to be on this journey is to begin.

But there isn’t a guarantee. In fact, most of what we seek to do will not work. But our intent—the intent of being of service, of making things better, of building something that matters—is an essential part of the pattern.

Because most of us, most of the time, act without intent.

[and here’s a video from Carole]

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