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.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what words can do. They can cut a person down or lift them up. They can overwhelm another with beauty or devastate their soul. I am always searching for the words that want to be said because when you find them, they can change everything.
This past week, I shared the news about my marriage ending. This has been the hardest decision I have ever made, and the process has been unfolding for almost the past year. So when I finally made the decision to talk about it on social, it came more from a place of scars than open wounds.
Distraction is no friend to a writer. If we are going to truly do work that matters, however, we can’t just fight distraction. We have to understand it.
Last week, someone pointed a gun at me in a dive bar in Wisconsin. My friend Jake and I were on a road trip, and he had a hankering for his favorite beer, so we drove across the Illinois-Wisconsin border to get it. As we sipped our Spotted Cows, we noticed a young man taking […]
These days, I seem to be going through a personal renaissance, re-thinking who I am, what I do, and my contribution to the world. I keep running into other writers, artists, and creative professionals who seem to be struggling with the same thing: What does nurturing your creative life in a pandemic actually look like?
Before you can create anything, you must first create yourself. The process of changing your life—of pursuing a vocation, finding a true love, even making a career transition—always begins with an understanding of who you are. But it doesn’t stop there.
In creative work, there is a spectrum from “starving” to “sellout,” and somewhere in the middle is where most of us find ourselves. How do we make sense of this?
The world is in crisis, and many people are telling you to do something new. But what if you didn’t have to do that? What if, instead of pivoting into new and exciting opportunities, we who make things considered this a call to our true work? What if we doubled down on our strengths, taking these familiar skills deeper than we thought they could go, seeking new ways to do old things? What if we asked, “What role is being required of me right now?”—and then did that?
What role is being required of you when you feel like the thing that you offer the world isn’t even needed? In this week’s episode of The Portfolio Life, I interview my longtime friend and mentor, Michael Port.
Hello there from quarantine. You might be feeling some shame for being unproductive or lazy or depressed during this time of crisis and social distancing. Please allow me to make you feel better. I am doing this worse than you, I promise.