Review: Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being CreativeSteal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A short, kick-in-the-pants book. A lot of quotes and suggestions that are so simple, you think anybody could have thought of that. That’s the beauty of a book like this. There’s nothing here hard to understand or conceive of. The danger of a book like this with its simplicity is knocking the excuse props out from under you. As long as we can think of the creative process as some mysterious abstract thing experienced by only a few initiates, we can insulate ourselves from doing work. Kleon divulges the secrets that exposes our own thoughts as laziness insulation.

I recommend it and I will leave you with a helpful little tip. If you’re bogged down in your reading or work, a short and simple book like this is a great way to get your mind out of the rut and inspire your ideas and energize your work. Sometimes we have just been working at the same thing too long. Do something different and then come back to it refreshed.

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Review: Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative AgeReal Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book. The gives us a mix of historical and modern real-life stories that challenge conventional perceptions. He aims at the stereotype of the starving artist and demonstrates the image is not true today and was not true to reality yesterday. Not only does he explode the myth of the starving artist but also provides examples and ideas for how to create and be paid in the New Renaissance.

Goins starts by addressing the mind-set. So often the way we think limits us in unnecessary ways. He goes on to address understanding the market and then finishes with money. This isn’t a book about getting rich. It is about making a living in order to continue to create.

I found the book challenging and inspiring in different ways and Goins provoked a lot of thought. If you are someone who does, or wants to, produce creative content, I highly recommend this read. You don’t have to read books like this with a materialist worldview. As Christians, we should always maintain a biblical worldview and think through what we read in those terms. You won’t find everything compatible, but it can still be helpful.

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Review: Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

Do More Better: A Practical Guide to ProductivityDo More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Challies has given us an excellent book that is both practical and helpful. Productivity books abound, but few are centered in productivity for the purpose of serving God and others. Challies gives us the how, but also the why, and that is inspiring. If you are familiar with GTD or the many other management and productivity systems, then you will be familiar with some of the practices in this book. I like that Challies has shown us that our chaotic lives can be brought into manageable order.

I like that the system recommended in this book is quite simple and doable. I have been doing some of the things he mentions. Some were new suggestions and some others were a faithful reminder that I ought to be doing them. I read this through and now I’m going to go back through it like a workbook. Challies has given us added value by linking to worksheets on his website that can be used in connection with this book.

I recommend this book, but give one caution. If you’re not familiar with any digital time, information, project, or calendar management, this book could be overwhelming. You can implement most of what he recommends manually, but it is worth the learning curve to use the digital tools.

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