The Heart to Start Your Creative Journey with David Kadavy

One of the hardest parts of any endeavor is taking the first step. My friend David Kadavy joins us today to talk about having the heart to start your creative journey.

The Heart to Start Your Creative Journey with David Kadavy

I believe David is an underrated writer and thinker. In an age of instant publication, he puts time, effort and great thought into the content and work he shares with the world. Initially, he found success with his first book, Design for Hackers.

After publishing the book, he soon found himself being flown around the world to consult, coach, and advise. He had always wanted to have a platform, and now he had it. But it didn’t take long for David to realize he had more to create and share, but not on the topic of design.

That realization and how to act upon it was a struggle for him. Two years ago he made a conscious pivot from design work to creative productivity and creative resistance. David's second book, The Heart to Start, was a way to help himself through that process.

David shares the story of locking himself in his apartment for six months and banging his head against a wall for 12 hours a day just to get 15 minutes of creative flow. He questioned why he couldn't just drop into that flow quickly and then go about his day. Why did it take so long?

He knew he wanted to do creative work, but he tried to find a better way to do that work while still being happy and having a healthy relationship with his work.

David tells us more about that experience, his transition into the productivity and creative resistance realm along with his journey from growing up in Nebraska to living in Colombia on this edition of The Portfolio Life.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, David tells us:

  • How did he get his first book deal?
  • What Impostor Syndrome experiences did he go through with his second book?
  • How does he deal with working on many things?
  • Why there is power in loving and being curious about many things.
  • What is the strongest fuel towards getting your work out in the world?

The process is a product.

David Kadavy

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On taking creative initiative

  • Why do professionals worry more about being good enough than amateurs do?
  • What are the honest and dishonest ways to deal with self-reverence?
  • Why the more you do something the harder it gets.
  • How he narrowly escaped living the wrong life for himself.
  • What makes his creative struggles with The Heart to Start worthwhile?

The things you struggle with determine your future path.

David Kadavy

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The Laws of Art

  1. There is art inside of you. You have something uniquely yours inside of you, and you need to get that out.
  2. Art is self-actualization. Pursuing your art and finding your creative gift is the ultimate form you can achieve.
  3. Your ego fears your art. Ego is in conflict with your true self. This is where resistance comes from. It will fool you into making excuses not to do the hard work of following your art and exposing yourself to feelings of failures and experiences of rejection.


What are you going to do to start your creative journey after listening to David? Let us know in the comments.