I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program to review and this post may contain affiliate links.
I am excited to share with you my review of Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age.
Jeff is a writer, speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of multiple books including the national bestseller, The Art of Work. (Here is a short post that I wrote based upon this book.) Learn more about Jeff at goinswriter.com.
I realize that this book is a little bit off topic but the Thomas Merton reference and the fact that each of us has an Inner Artist makes this book attractive to me. I hope you enjoy my review and check out this wonderful book.
Let me highlight seven areas from this book:
We Are All Artists
“Nobody wants to struggle, after all, so we keep our passion a hobby and follow a predictable path toward mediocrity. What if we could make a living as an artist?”
“We all have creative gifts to share, and in that respect, we are all artists.”
All of us are artists. We all have gifts to share with the world. What if we can make a living as an artist? What if can share this inner gift with others and make a living doing so? This book challenges us to do so. Jeff shares 12 lessons from present and past artists to help us learn how to make a living as an artist.
“We can’t change our lives until we change our minds.”
“The question to ask ourselves is, are we willing to become our true selves?”
“Living in what Thomas Merton calls the “false self”, we fall out of alignment with who we are, and I can tell you from experience there is no greater pain than living a lie when the truth is buried deep inside you.”
Are we willing to become our true self? I discover my true self via my centering prayer practice. This is my twice per day, silent sit with God. God acts in me and these actions are later revealed in my non-silent times of the day. They are the actions of my true self. Each day I continue to sit in silence with God so I can continue to let my true self act each day.
It Is A Marathon
“Small changes over time can lead to massive transformation.”
“You can do extraordinary things when you were patiently persistent.”
“The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina.”
We must keep at our art each day! We must be patient! We must take small actions each day. Our inner artist can create but it is not a race, It is a long term marathon that we need to keep at each and every day. Breaks are okay. They refresh and revitalize us but then we should get back to the work we feel our Inner Artist informs us to do and be.
“Art is always found on the fringes, at the edge of our discomfort where true change occurs.”
Let me also share another quote by Tim Ferriss that hits the mark. “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
If we challenge ourselves to work where we are a bit uncomfortable we will see true change. We will improve our art. We will become experts at it. We must consistently push and nudge ourselves to work just outside of our comfort zone. This is where our art will flourish!
“In other words, we create not in isolation but with the influence of others around us.”
“If you were going to create work that matters, you were going to need an advocate – a person who sees your potential and believes in your work.”
“We don’t do our best work alone; we do it by collaborating with others.”
“All around us there are patrons, people willing to help our work succeed. But it is our job to recognize them and prove ourselves worthy of their investment.”
We cannot succeed alone. We need the help of others. We need both teachers and advocates and we must prove worthy of their investment in us.
“You have to practice in public.”
“To do the work of a professional, you have to stop waiting to be seen and start sharing your work now.”
Practice makes perfect. We need to put our work “out there”. Just start where you are at. Stop planning. Don’t question your abilities. Procrastination and fear are the death of our art. We must just begin!
“The reason many of us never self – actualize is because it’s easier to play a role in life then it is to become our true selves.”
“Over the course of a lifetime, we may find ourselves facing new challenges at every turn, and when we do, we must remember that we are never done becoming who we are.”
Who do you want to be? Do you want to be your true self or simply play the role in life others tell us to be? Once we make the decision to act from our true self it is important to keep in mind that it is not a once and done moment. It is a life long process. We are never done becoming the person we are meant to be: our true self.
I encourage you to check out Jeff Goin’s book, Real Artists Don’t Starve.
Check out my post related to Jeff’s previous book, The Art of Work.
The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner
The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner
I am currently reading The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher Heuertz. Free with your Audible trial
Orthodox Crafts: Making the perfect Orthodox gift, or a personal aid in your spiritual struggle, our prayer bracelets are beautifully crafted to be kept for a lifetime. Strengthen your relationship with God by wearing these bracelets and praying at any time and place during the day. Enjoy my post, How I Use My Prayer Bracelet.
I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. How do I create a long lasting and sustainable centering prayer practice? I will work with you to setup a plan designed to meet your specific needs. Contact me for more information.
Feel free to peruse my Resource Page. I frequently update it with new information.
The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.
Contemplative Practices: 5 Ways of Consenting to the Divine: Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative process and more fully embody and integrate the the higher stages of the mystical path, Contemplative Perspectives offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
The Divine Transformation: Essentials of Christian Mysticism: This is a combined course of both Contemplative Practices and Contempative Perspectives.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)