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The Heart to Start: Win the Inner War & Let Your Art Shine Paperback – December 13, 2017
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"Here's the thing. You need to start something, and you already know what it is. But you're afraid. You don't have enough time. You can think of a million reasons to not do this. And that's what this book will help you overcome. Read it, then share it with a friend. I loved it."
--Jeff Goins, best-selling author of Real Artists Don't Starve
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So I was excited to read this book. Again, I was dazzled by Kadavy's way with words, but the impact on me was much deeper this time, as the subject of this book is very dear to me: how to achieve consistent creative output.
I believe some of us are, by temperament, born to create. If we don't labor to transfer the contents of our inner-world into the outer-world, we will silently die a spiritual death. Then eventually, we will die a physical death, with our art still trapped inside of us.
This fact may be obvious to many, but when you focus on the urgency of creating, it typically makes us creatives more neurotic. We obsess over unimportant details, and get trapped in self-defeating thought loops "This isn't good enough." "I'll never make it". "I'll never finish this."
Personally, these thought loops used to leave me with a sense of helplessness. It even triggered a deep depression in me last year. At times, I was convinced that I could never escape the maelstrom of my own mind.
But then I discovered Kadavy's work on the subject, and I slowly started to make my way to calmer waters. In Heart to Start, Kadavy distinguishes several concepts I never considered before. Just being able to label the thoughts getting in the way of my creating helped immensely. Coupled with his very actionable strategies for training the mind out of these thoughts, these ideas buoyed my mind and helped me get my business ideas out there in the world.
Now, I create and ship WAY more products, content, and ideas than I have in any other period of my life. All because I finally found the heart to start.
If you're currently struggling to get started on your next business or creative venture, then you may find your heart in these pages...
Whether you're trying to learning something new, start exercising, or build a business, you've probably heard this advice a million times.
But here's the issues with that: starting can be REALLY HARD.
If you're anything like me, you know you *should* just get started, but getting past all of the mental blocks can be tough.
This book is practical, relateable, and most important actionable. Pick up this book and learn how to take the first steps.
I took away many helpful tips, including the mind trick of setting easy goals. Like ridiculously easy goals that it would be embarrassing not to meet. Really, you can't write 10 minutes first thing in the morning (although for me, after my coffee). Just getting to the page is sometimes half the battle because of internal resistance. Often, once you've gotten into the writing it goes longer than the ten minutes, but you can also stop at just ten if it's one of those. Or one of those projects.
Kadavy shares his personal stories in a readable, very accessible way, with an understated humor that invites the reader in. We're brought into everyday struggles and victories, as well as more life-changing, mind-changing moments.
I didn't agree with or relate to every single thing in the book, but that's not the point. It's about trying new things and adding to your toolkit. At least, that's how I look at it.
If you've read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, you will find The Heart to Start a good follow-up read. (If you're a creative and you haven't read The War of Art--what? Get that now too.) Each of the sections of The Heart to Start are essentially practical personal essays that provide a helpful "visual" snapshot into the life of a creative dealing with the everyday troubles of resistance.
I've also found Kadavy's companion Heart to Start podcasts and interviews on YouTube to be interesting and helpful.
Kadavy points out that everyone is unique and needs to explore and build on this uniqueness in a world where so much is now mass produced. He says that the only way to do this is to find the best expression of who you are and move forward to create from that. He sees ego as born out of fear, and therefore something that holds you back. It works to protect you from potential harm. He says that your ego, in its protectiveness, hates your art.
I could easily summarize the entire book; I'd recommend that you discover the rest of it for yourself. You'll find excellent ideas on getting and staying motivated, finding the vacuum that creates a demand for your ideas, and developing a routine that will keep you going. I'll be getting a hard copy so that I can find all the paragraphs I've underlined more easily. I'll also be buying this for my coaching clients