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The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin

My Rating of “The Practice: Shipping Creative Work” by Seth Godin: 8 / 10

After reading (and reviewing) a few books by Seth Godin I can’t help but think that they are an extension of his daily blog (URL). Godin’s written wisdom is endless. He leaves you thinking for hours at a time on the implication of his ideas within your world. That’s essentially the problem Godin tries to solve with this particular book. It is all well to have ideas, thoughts, musings however they need to be actioned, published and applied. The Practice is about shipping your creative work. Develop the system, establish the discipline and maintain the cadence!

It’s an apt read at the start of a new year as well. We all think about the year ahead. What resolutions should we establish, what should we change about ourselves. What goals to accomplish? By reading this book you will learn to trust yourself, be generous by giving your work/ideas to others. You’ll also set the right intent, eliminate writers block and make assertions which is critical in our creativity / innovation today . These areas I just outlined are the key sections of this book and I believe they are all applicable to the average knowledge worker today.

The format of this book is very similar to Seth’s blog. They are 1 – 2 pages per snippet on a particular sub-topic. For example, regarding ‘writers block’ Godin will discuss topics such as making excuses, polish being overrated, the infinite game, anchoring up and being vulnerable. It is one of those books that you don’t have to read chapter by chapter. Instead pick it up for 5 minutes of inspiration and get cracking with your creativity!

Three key takeaways from the book:

  1. A quote within the book by Elizabeth King: “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions.” Developing the habit, system, muscle is one of the biggest lessons of this book. Don’t aim for perfection, aim for a cadence, a habit, a system where you chip away each and every day.
  2. Abundance multiplies. Scarcity subtracts. A vibrant culture creates more than it takes. Creative compounding!
  3. The concept of saying no. I’ve been a big believer of saying yes to opportunities (read my blog post on this concept here). This has accelerated my learnings and opportunities throughout my career. However I have to now think differently given where I’m at in my career. Godin uses metaphor perfectly to describe this concept: “If you spend all day hitting the ball back, you’ll never end up serving.”

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