Five lessons I learned from Seth Godin’s book, The Practice

How to be a professional Creative

This book changed my perspective on my career in the Creative Industry. When I first started reading Seth Godin’s book, The Practice, I’d just begun writing the first draft of my book and was already struggling with self-doubt, fretting that no one would want to read my book. For me, The Practice is a set of guiding principles for how to be a professional Creative as a long-term career. Here are my top five lessons from the book.

1. Creative professionals create for an audience

This book is all about the importance of shipping your work and delivering it to an audience. It’s a generous act to ship your work, so be generous with your work and don’t be worried about running out of ideas because there are plenty more fish in the sea. Sources of inspiration are abundant, and you have the skill as a professional Creative to bring those ideas to life and release them out into the world.

2. Creativity is a skill that can be learned and honed

You are a Creative if you’re willing to do the work to transform your natural ability into your profession. When your art is your career, you need to develop creativity and other skills for career progression, so invest your time and resources into continuous improvement. Seth Godin shares these three strategies for a Creative job:

  1. Find an hour every day to develop your creativity
  2. Get paid for your work because it demonstrates your value and freedom to grow
  3. Get interesting clients that will help you grow because they expect creative excellence

3. Reaching creative greatness

You don’t need to be a genius, but you need commitment and strategy for building your career as a professional Creative. Find your cohort of people like you and identify your superpower, what you do best. Research, read, and brush up on your field to strive for creative greatness.

4.  Forget your plan

When it comes to creativity, there is no road map. Instead, follow your own creative path and trust your creative process to take you where you need to go. Having a clear sense of purpose will drive your creative process and lead you to success, rather than focusing on outcomes.

5. Dealing with critique

Successful Creatives don’t get rejected less; they submit more. Obsessing over perfection causes creative block, whilst sharing your authentic work leaves room for feedback and then improvement. Embrace generous critique from fans who give detailed responses and ignore trolls who are people outside your target audience. They’re not worth your time.

Overall, it’s an important profession to ship your creative work to an audience who want and need your art. The ‘practice’ is challenging but can be mastered with commitment and strategy.

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