Great Book: Real Artists DON’T Starve

I picked up Jeff Goins’ book after I heard him on the Art of Charm podcast. I knew about Jeff Goins before the interview however, I’ve been a follower of his blog for several years now. Actually, long before I decided to become a writer myself. His material is always great, however his book Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, really stood out to me.

A lot of misconceptions that I had about what it means to be a writer, more specifically what it means financially, were set straight once I had finished reading the book. It’s fairly short at just over 200 pages, though it reads very quickly.

One misconception was that I needed to work alone towards any creative endeavor, and that any collaboration was detrimental to the creative process. Goins advises the exact opposite, noting that artists like Beyonce collaborate with many people to create their art. Beyonce’s album Lemonade, for example, credited 72 writers.

“Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo credits more than a hundred writers. Rihanna’s Anti credits more than thirty,’ Goins writes.

Goins discusses the need for community. A chapter titled “Go Join a Scene” is appropriately labeled because it advises all writers to meet other artists in order to share ideas and get feedback from them.

This is something I know I need to work on. The reality is that I studied economics and mathematics. Only recently have I decided to write novels. Most of my network is in finance and quantitative endeavors.

But regardless, I’m guilty of avoiding a literary and creative crowd because I’ve always felt that it would take away from the work that I truly believed was supposed to be conjured solely by myself, without any intrusion from outside influence.

I’m glad I picked this book up. It put a lot of things into perspective, in all aspects of starting a literary or creative career.

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