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The Practice: Ship creative work

A new book by Seth Godin

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.

 

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, running again in August 2020.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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