The Practice – Seth Godin
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The Practice by Seth Godin is one of the best books I have read this year. It is only the second one I have read about being an author and writing. The Practice is a highly acclaimed book in the field of writing. It actually pertains to anyone putting forth creative work from authors, to poets, artists, or musicians. If you are a creator, a problem solver, or just a generous leader, this book is for you. It is about making things better and putting out content. We all need to learn how to find a way to be more creative.
If you want a book on writing, I suggest starting here. Seth Godin lays out some clear paths to get work done and shipped on a timely basis. He cuts through all the excuses and simply makes the point that if you are a writer, your job is to write. Maybe it won’t be great, but you start, and you seek to improve. Even if you have limited talents, Mr. Godin believes you can become a great writer. Our job is not to be perfect, but to put out ‘our work’. That is “The Practice. “
What I Learned from The Practice
SHIPPING - because it doesn’t count if you don’t share it. Be creative, because you are not a cog in the system, you ARE THE CREATOR AND PROBLEM SOLVER.
WORK – because it is not a habit. There’s a practice available to each of us. The practice of embracing the process of creation.
IT IS POSSIBLE – For people like us, our lives follow a pattern. Are you searching for something? Most of us are. Followers are not searching, but we are. Leaders seek to make things better. The chance to make a difference and to be seen and respected.
Perfectionism has nothing to do with being perfect. Attitudes are skills, and there’s no such thing as writer’s block. He says this over and over in the book. “There’s no such thing as writer’s block.”
You are enough – Just write. Start where you are. The world conspires to hold us back, but it can’t without our permission. There’s nothing that we can do to ensure that tomorrow turns out exactly as we hope it will. We must take our chances, speak up, and contribute. Just write.
Resistance is real. We must fight through our hard times and persevere. Trust the practice and engage in the process of creation and shipping. Then the resistance loses much of its power.
We must just do the work, even if we have doubts.
Shantideva once said: “If the problem can be solved, why worry? And if the problem can’t be solved, then worrying will do you no good. “
Talent is not the same as skill. We are born with talent, but we earn skills. You put out the work but must realize you can’t reach everyone. We are to find those in who we interest and those that will read and listen to our content.
As we put out more and more content, we return to these simple narratives:
Writer’s block is a myth. It is a choice and it is all invented. Stories are real and stories can change.
1,000 true fans are all you need. True fans will drive across town to see you and pay you for your work in advance. They will let you sleep on their floor. You make a difference in your true fans’ lives.
Layman Pang once said that his life was “To Chop Wood and Carry Water.” In the practice, day after day, we must continue to chop wood and carry water. Again and again and again.
We must continue daily to ask ourselves “How Can I make this better?” No matter who you are, you must read and continue to read again. Be aware of other work about you, and use it as motivation to develop your skill. You can learn from other authors. Read to gain insight and knowledge.
Good taste comes from Domain Knowledge. Combined with the guts and experience we learn how to veer from what’s expected. There is no shortcut to excellence.
We can change the world, but we can’t change everything. Trust the process. It is at the heart of the practice.
In conclusion at the end of the book, Seth Godin asks:
Where do IDEAS come from?
The Path Forward is about curiosity, generosity, and connection. You have everything you need to make magic. You always have. Start where you are and don’t stop.
Go make a ruckus.
I recommend reading this book. If you intend to ever write or get involved in being an author, it is very helpful with many writing tips. If you are involved in anything that involves creativity, books, poetry, art, or music, this book can be an asset.
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