The hard part of writing a book isn’t getting published. It’s the actual writing. In this article, I offer 10 steps for writing a book along with 10 bonus steps to getting your book done. Books don’t just write themselves, after all. You have to invest everything you are into creating an important piece of work.
For centuries, historians believed the great Renaissance master was just another Starving Artist, struggling to make ends meet. Michelangelo himself embraced this image, living frugally and often complaining about money. He once wrote in a poem that his art had left him “poor, old and working as a servant of others.”
But it turns out he wasn’t telling the truth.
There are three messages creativity can communicate, and these messages are what connect us as human beings. Which is to say, without the arts—without the ability to creatively express who we are and what we care about—we lose a bit of our humanity.
In this episode of The Portfolio Life, I talk with Chase Jarvis, a brilliant photographer, entrepreneur, author, thinker. We have a fantastic conversation about creativity, the arts, and the business world and why we need you to do your art, why we need you to make things more than we ever have before, and why we need the world to care about art and creativity.
Whether you’re bored, out of work, or simply wanting a more fulfilling career, I believe that by embracing a portfolio life, you will finally have the peace and contentment you seek in your work.
This is the year you become a writer. And what do writers do? They write.
There’s nothing mystical or magical about it — you just have to show up and commit to doing the work. Place butt in chair, fingers on keys, and start typing.
And this, of course, is where most writers fail. They never actually write a word. They talk about writing, think about writing, even read about writing. But they do not write.
When it comes to achieving goals, many of us may be thinking about them the wrong way.
All good stories involve dying. The often-literal death of a mentor almost inevitable requires the hero to grow and move on in his journey. But there is also the shedding of a character’s old identity in exchange for a new way of being. Not to mention, the loss of friends and foes throughout any adventure are a necessary part of the process. Death is a part of every great story, and so it must be for all great lives, as well.
Is personal change something that happens instantaneously in someone’s life or does it take a long time? Can we choose to change, as the self-help gurus assert, or are there other factors, like environment and genetics, at work as well that limit us? Is it even possible for us to become our best selves or are we doomed to lives of mediocrity? The answer, I think, is, “It’s complicated… but there is hope.”
I’m calling it a rule, but really it’s an idea: What would your life look like if you could only have an impact on a handful of people? What would you do differently in your work if you couldn’t help everyone? This next year, I’m answering that question and challenge you to do the same.
A few weeks ago, I did an episode of The Portfolio Life called “Don’t Build an Empire, Find a Few Friends Who Care.” It was about how the secret of marketing and getting your ideas to spread is really just about having a few friends who care. You want to create remarkable work and put […]
Often, we think the way to stand out from the pack is to be better. And sometimes that is the answer: to become an improved version of who you were yesterday, to do what the “other guy” is doing with a few added features. However, this is often a losing strategy, as you are making iterative improvements on someone else’s work. A better way to become world-class at what you do is to change the game completely. Don’t be better; be different.