The Practice Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The Practice talks about ways to enhance your creativity, boost your innovation skills, upgrade your creative process, and most importantly, get disciplined in your practice to turn your hobby into a professional endeavor.

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Creativity is a skill. Anyone can learn it. Anyone can get better at it. In fact, that’s all the most successful artists have done. This is the message of Seth Godin‘s latest bestseller, The Practice.

Once you understand this concept, it becomes easier to accept that mistakes are part of the learning process. You don’t need to be afraid of making mistakes because they will only help improve your work in the long run. Even if your first attempt at a new project fails miserably, it doesn’t mean that you won’t succeed in future attempts!

Therefore, let’s explore three of the best lessons this book has to offer and find out how to get creative:

  1. Set your own creative pace and then be ready to share it with the world when the time comes.
  2. A plan can help you navigate your journey better, even if you don’t follow it at all times.
  3. Critics can help you improve, but a cohort of like-minded people will skyrocket your growth.

Let’s explore these lessons in detail and learn everything there is to know about being a professional creative!

The Practice Summary

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Lesson 1: A creative professional sets their own pace and then shares it with the world when they’re ready.

Having confidence in yourself as an artist is key! You’re never going to know if your ideas are good until you try them out, so don’t get discouraged just because others are far ahead in their journeys or you’re too hard on yourself.

The truth is, everyone has their own pace, especially in the creative process. Our world is designed to value outcomes over process, which is necessary for certain domains like home repairs or automotive, but dreading in areas like art

Therefore, if a book or a box office doesn’t sell out, people think that the art is bad. It’s not! Art is subjective, so artists are better off setting their own creative path and not listening to outside factors. As you navigate your own path, take your time and be authentic in your work.

There’s no need to listen to market needs. Do what feels right for you under closed curtains. When the time comes, if you want to be a creative professional, you’ll share your work with the world knowing you did your best. 

If art is a career you want to pursue, you’ll have to get accustomed to sharing your craft and hearing opinions. There’s no need to feel ashamed or fearful because opinions will flow and that’s just part of the job. Most importantly, don’t judge your work by financial metrics.

Lesson 2: Work on an actionable plan to fulfill your creative goals, but leave some room for course alterations.

If you want to be a creative professional, you’ll need to have a plan. Even if you don’t know for sure how you want to kick-start your artistic career, a blueprint for work won’t harm you. To start with, you’ll want to find an hour throughout the day that you dedicate toward work only. 

Work should be a priority, so you’ll want to avoid any distractions and focus on your craft. Go with what time works best for you. Then, you’ll need to monetize your work, and that doesn’t only mean putting a price tag on your art.

Money is essential to sustain life, so getting paid is part of the scheme. While money doesn’t directly represent the value of your work, it will help you keep going and get recognition for your hard work. Moreover, it’ll make you feel valued and productive in your endeavors. 

Once you progress, you’ll want to pick clients that resonate with your inclinations. Yes, you get to say yes or no, not the other way around. Work with a cause that you resonate with. Now that you have a blueprint for work, it’s time for you to build actionable steps.

Lesson 3: Embrace your critics but aim to surround yourself with like-minded creative individuals.

It’s important to remember that criticism is not personal. Someone who criticizes your work must have a valid point, even if it stings. This is how you learn and grow as an artist. However, there are certain people who will always be negative, no matter what you do. 

These individuals can cause harm to your self-esteem and success as an artist by constantly putting you down. These people are not worth listening to—they only bring negativity into your life and make you doubt yourself and your abilities.

Instead of listening to these antagonistic individuals, surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and your art! They can also be your critics in times of need, and give you valuable feedback that aims to help you improve your craft. 

They will lift you up when times get tough and help steer you in the right direction when things get confusing. It’s important to aim for like-minded people that can bring added value into your life, meaning other creative minds like yours. 

Then, commit to your superpower, or your best skill. Perhaps you’re the best writer in your group, or you find it easy to sketch anything. Even if your work includes more areas of expertise, the aim is to focus on the one you do best, and outsource the rest if possible. 

For example, if your superpower is painting, leave the marketing to a social media manager and the shipping to a delivery company. Lastly, adopt a growth mindset and keep on reading. Read anything that brings more value to your work and keep a close eye on new information that can help you grow, such as a dedicated newsletter.

The Practice Review

As a creative person, you’re bound to have critics, an artistic blockage like writer’s block or stage fright, tough days, and doubts about yourself. When you’re just starting out, that can be hard to deal with. Fortunately, The Practice can help you navigate all the challenges that come with the job.

Embrace your weaknesses and focus on your superpowers. Find people who will push you to become better. When your work is improving, learn to be proud of it, share it, and even monetize it. 

There are so many valuable lessons this book brings forth! I highly recommend reading it if you’re a creative professional or want to become one.

Who would I recommend The Practice summary to?

The 40-year-old who wants to quit their 9-5 and pursue their artistic dream, the 22-year-old young adult who wants to become a professional artist or the 37-year-old parent who wants to learn how to help their artistic child navigate the challenges of pursuing their passion.

Last Updated on June 15, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.