Seth Godin is becoming one of my favorite public thinkers. I read his blog daily and listen to his podcast, Akimbo, as often I can. Also, I have read several of his books like Tribes, Permission Marketing, and This Is Marketing. He’s had a pulse on the business world for over three decades.
His latest book, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work tackles how creatives can trust themselves to ship their work to the public. Also, the theme of the book is how artists should focus on the process more than the outcome. We focus more on the outcome and if our creative work does not become “a hit” with the public right away it is seen a failure. Godin is making a strong case to creatives to change that mindset. And this quote early in the book hits home:
“Focusing solely on outcomes forces us to make choices that are banal, short-term, or selfish. It takes our focus away from the journey and encourages us to give up too early. Focusing on outcomes at the expense of process is a shortcut that will destroy your work.”
Amen Seth. However, we live in outcome-oriented world and people latch onto what we have deemed successful by the culture. Godin drives home the point throughout the book that the outcome is beyond our control, and finding joy in the work is the real satisfaction.
The Practice is broken into eight sections with headings: Trust Your Self, Generous, The Professional, Intent, No Such Thing As Writer’s Block, Make Assertions, Earn Your Skills, & Seek Out Constraints. Each section drills home that particular subtitle through blog post style entries. Nothing complicated, but I found a lot of wisdom throughout the book. I will admit that some of it gets repetitive.
I would recommend The Practice to anyone who desired to be creative and have let resistance and the opinions of others keep them from writing that book, drawing that painting, or playing that musical instrument. Godin’s words will comfort and challenge you to pursue that creative project that you have been always wanting to do.