Mark McGuinness has spent 21 years coaching creative professionals to achieve their artistic and career ambitions.
In this book he shares 21 of the most powerful insights that have emerged from coaching conversations with hundreds of creatives - as well as from his own practice as an award-winning poet.
Whether you are a fine artist, a performer or entertainer, a commercial creative, or a creative entrepreneur, many of your biggest challenges are the ones that are familiar to all creative professionals:
* Finding—and staying true to—your deepest sources of inspiration
* Carving out time to produce great work amid the demands and distractions of 21st century life
* Balancing creativity, money, and your professional ambitions
* Giving yourself a break from the relentless perfectionism of your Inner Critic
* Creating your own security in an uncertain world
* Believing in your vision when people around you just don’t get it
* Deciding whether to approach publishers, record companies or other middlemen, or to “go direct” to your audience
* Attracting an audience from scratch, or breaking into a tightly networked industry as an outsider
* Dealing with rejection, criticism, and plain unvarnished failure
* Dealing with fear and anxiety—about your work, about your audience, about the critics, about failure, and even about success
Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by a 21st century creator is the one it’s easiest to overlook when you’re preoccupied with the demands of the day:
How can you chart your course and make meaningful progress when you set out on an original path, where there is no conventional career ladder, no job security, and the usual rules don’t apply?
This book tackles these challenges head on, and it provides answers you won’t find in books of traditional career advice:
1. Everything is powered by love
2. Reach for the stars
3. Something old, something new
4. Your creativity is your security
5. Forget the career ladder—start creating assets
6. Personal development is professional development (and vice versa)
7. Your struggle is a clue to your superpower
8. There are four types of work (and one matters more than the others)
9. Desire beats discipline
10. Your motivations are always mixed
11. Play the game you want to play
12. Pick two out of money, fame and artistic reputation
13. Find your medium, choose your media
14. Stay small, go global
15. Learn from the best in the world
16. Don’t let the crappy part put you off
17. Be thankful for your Inner Critic
18. Hustling is part of your job
19. Stop trying to earn money—start creating value
20. You can have all the excuses you want
21. Courage may be the missing ingredient
Mark has deliberately kept this book short, so that you can burn through it in one sitting for a burst of inspiration. Or keep it handy on your phone and consult it in the quiet moments of your day, or on those days when you need to dig deep for motivation.
Mark McGuinness is an award-winning poet, a coach for creative professionals, and the host of the 21st Century Creative podcast.
Jocelyn K. Glei, author and Founding Editor, 99U
We are living in an age of unprecedented creative stimulation—via the internet, social media, all-pervasive technology, and an “always on” working culture.
Which means we are living in an age of unprecedented distraction from focused creative work—from all the same sources.
First, computers and the internet transformed the work we did at our desks. Then along came smartphones to transform our social lives and make our work mobile.
Now we have our work, our network, our media, and our social media with us wherever we go. Augmented Reality (AR) is layering more and more virtual elements over the physical world we inhabit, and Virtual Reality (VR) promises us escape to unlimited virtual worlds.
The pace of change is exciting, overwhelming, and unstoppable.
And creators are increasingly discovering a downside to the brave new world:
* countless distractions and interruptions
* endless email
* pressure to keep up
* anxiety about falling behind
* difficulty concentrating
* aches and pains from too much time at the keyboard
Dig a little deeper, and the biggest concern for many creatives is a nagging sense that their most important work is being left undone.
If you’re excited by the opportunities of the creative age, but worried about the effect of all those interruptions and digital distractions on your creative work, Productivity for Creative People has been written for you.
For the past twenty years creative coach Mark McGuinness has helped hundreds of creatives like you to overcome these challenges.
A poet and creative entrepreneur, he is the author of Motivation for Creative People and Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success. He is also a co-author of the bestselling books from 99U, Manage Your Day-to-Day and Maximize Your Potential.
Mark’s latest book, Productivity for Creative People, is a collection of insights, tips, and techniques to help you carve out time for your most important work – while managing your other commitments. All the solutions he shares have been tested with real people in real situations.
You will learn:
* How getting organized can make you more creative
* Why multitasking doesn’t work
* How to tell if you’re really overloaded – and what to do about it
* The importance of panicking early
* How doing nothing can make you more productive
* The crucial difference between incubation and procrastination
* How to carve out time for your most important creative work
* Why boredom is necessary for creativity
* What to do about all that email
* How to nap like a fighter pilot
* A simple technique to reduce smartphone addiction
Productivity for Creative People is the perfect guide to creating extraordinary work without (necessarily) disappearing to a cabin in the woods, or even giving up your smartphone.
“Many creative people are busier than ever, but rarely get around to the work that truly matters. Mark McGuinness offers solid and practical advice for busy creative people who want to make their mark on the world.”
Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative
“Authors now have amazing online tools to reach readers all over the world, but those same tools can distract us from the focused creativity that we love and that we need to write better books. In Productivity for Creative People, Mark McGuinness outlines a way of working that will help you sort out what’s really important and achieve your creative goals, while still managing your daily tasks. Recommended for any author who is feeling overwhelmed.”
Joanna Penn, bestselling author and award-winning entrepreneur. TheCreativePenn.com
Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi ("the leading researcher into ‘flow states’" —Newsweek) demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness, unlock our potential, and greatly improve the quality of our lives.
"Explores a happy state of mind called flow, the feeling of complete engagement in a creative or playful activity." —Time
Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The War of Art
“I love my work so much I would do it for free.”
Many creative people have uttered these words in a moment of enthusiasm—they express the joy of creative work. But they also hint at some of the pitfalls that lie in wait for creatives . . .
In one sense, creative people have no problem with motivation. We fall in love with our creative work and pursue a career that allows us to do what we love every day.
Psychological research confirms what we know in our hearts: we are at our most creative when we are driven by intrinsic motivation—working for the sheer joy of it, regardless of rewards. Focusing on extrinsic motivation—such as money, fame, or other rewards—can kill your creativity.
If you don’t feel excited by the task in front of you, it’s impossible to do your best work, no matter what rewards it might bring. You may be determined not to sell out, but selling yourself short can be just as damaging. And when it comes to public recognition, comparisonitis and professional jealousy can consume far too much of your creative energy.
Working for love is all well and good, but if you’re a creative professional you can’t ignore the rewards: you need money to enjoy your life and to fund your projects. You may not need to be famous, but you do need a good reputation within your professional network. And if you’re in a fame-driven industry you need a powerful public profile, whether or not you enjoy the limelight.
There’s a precious balance at play—get it wrong, and you could seriously damage your creativity and even your career.
For the past twenty years creative coach Mark McGuinness has helped hundreds of creatives like you to overcome these challenges.
In his latest book, Motivation for Creative People, Mark helps you rise to these challenges and create a fulfilling and rewarding creative career. All the solutions he shares have been tested with real people in real situations, including ways to:
* stay creative and in love with your work—even under pressure
* overcome Resistance to tackling your creative challenges
* reclaim your creative soul if you wander off your true path
* stop selling yourself short—and start reaping the rewards of your creativity
* attract the right kind of audience for your work
* cultivate an outstanding artistic reputation
* avoid destroying your creativity through attachment to money, fame, reputation, and other rewards
* surround yourself with people who support your creative ambitions
* avoid getting stuck in unhealthy comparisonitis or professional jealousy
* balance your inspiration, ambition, desires, and influences in the big picture of your creative career
Motivation for Creative People is the perfect guide to figuring out your different motivations and how they affect your creativity and career.
The book is packed with practical advice and inspiring stories from Mark’s own experience, his transformative work with coaching clients, and famous creators and creations—including Stanley Kubrick, Dante, The Smiths, Shakespeare, kabuki drama, and Breaking Bad.
If you are serious about succeeding in your creative career—while staying true to your inspiration—read Motivation for Creative People
Steven Pressfield, best-selling author of THE WAR OF ART and TURNING PRO
If you want to achieve something original and meaningful with your life, you MUST learn to deal with rejection and criticism.
If you're an artist of any kind your work will be rejected by editors, curators and other gatekeepers. And each time you put it in front of the public, you expose yourself to criticism.
If you're an entrepreneur you face rejection by (potential) customers, partners and investors. Those same people won't hesitate to criticize you if they are unhappy (justified or not).
If you're chasing your dream job you'll receive your share of rejection letters. And once you land the job, taking flak when things go wrong is part of the deal.
If you're an athlete or sports player it's a battle to get on the team. And you'll hear about it from all sides - your coach, your team-mates and (so-called) supporters - if they think your performance isn't up to scratch.
If you're a campaigner for change you face inertia, resistance and hostility from everyone with an investment in the status quo. No wonder most people choose not to rock the boat.
Between them, rejection and criticism can rob you of your dream.
Many people set out on their chosen path full of hope and inspiration, only to turn back because they couldn't deal with the emotional impact of crushing rejections and vicious criticism.
If you want to avoid joining the legions of also-rans, you'll need to find practical, effective ways to deal with rejection and criticism.
Anyone who says 'don't take it so personally' doesn't understand what it's like when you are hit by a major rejection or biting criticism.
At least to begin with, it's almost impossible NOT to take it personally (for very good psychological reasons). To deal with rejection and criticism, you need to acknowledge the pain - and find ways to bounce back from the impact.
In short, you need to develop resilience.
In Resilience, Mark McGuinness explains why your reactions to rejection and criticism are completely understandable - and how to deal with them effectively.
Through stories from his own experience, as well as those of famous people who faced rejection and criticism on the road to their success, he will show you that you are far from alone in suffering from rejection and criticism.
And he draws on years of experience as a coach to give you practical advice that has been road-tested with hundreds of people facing similar challenges to you.
You will learn:Why rejection and criticism hurt so muchSeveral ways you may be making rejection worse (without realising it)How to keep going in spite of multiple rejectionsWhy your inner critic is (potentially) your best friendWhen to ignore the critics - and when to listenWhether (and how) to respond to insults and abuseWhy success is harder than it looks - and how to deal with it
This is not a theoretical book - it's packed with practical tips and techniques you can apply to your own challenges right away.
Whether you're just setting out, in the middle of your journey, or dealing with the unexpected challenges of success, Resilience will show you how to keep moving forward.
Resilience will take you a few hours to read; its lessons will help you for the rest of your life.
Topics: resilience, creativity, rejection, criticism, success