#14: Find work you enjoy, useful books, and the courage to create
I’m writing a book.
It might be a book. It also might be a very long blog post. We’ll see.
But it sounds cooler to say I’m writing a book, so I’m sticking with it. People understand what a book is. And it’s nice to feel recognized once in a while.
So what’s the book about?
How to make a living doing work you enjoy
I want to help people find work they enjoy and make a financially sustainable living around it.
The high-minded answer is that I believe people doing what they truly enjoy makes the world better.
The selfish-son-of-a-bitch answer is that I can’t stand people who hate what they do, but they do it anyway. I mean, get in or get out. Don’t just complain.
Anyway, both answers are true.
Also, I like to think I have a certain talent for stating things in a way people understand. Plus I enjoy the hell out of writing and the lifestyle that I’ve built around it.
That’s the biggest reason, I guess…
I feel like I’ve tapped into some forbidden life of flow and creativity and learning and doing what I really enjoy doing. It’s frickin' amazing. I almost feel guilty not telling others about how I did it.
I have to get those things out into the world. But it’s not like I possess some secret knowledge. I just found answers to these questions that worked for me:
- How to manage money so it doesn’t manage you
- How to create time for learning new things
- How to leverage your strengths and ignore flaws
- How to build profitable side projects
- How to prototype new careers
And now I’m trying to put them together for others as concrete steps to find work they enjoy and make a living around it.
Right now, I’m doing interviews with people to better understand how different people deal with money, learning, finding jobs, so I can decide what should and shouldn’t be the scope of the book.
Are you interested in talking about this? Let’s find time for a chat. Email me, and let’s Zoom together.
What I’m reading
Write Useful Books
I devoured this book in one day (only 150 pages). It’s a guide to writing good non-fiction books like I’m trying to do right now. It’s from Rob Fitzpatrick, the same author who wrote The Mom Test which I talked about last week.
It reminded me I’m a designer, so I should write (design) books as a designer. Duh. Thank you, Rob.
Improve your book before you’ve written it. The solution, as silly as it sounds, is to talk to people.
A book’s promise is meaningless until paired with a certain type of reader.
Fill your table of contents with takeaways, not clickbait.
Writing is teaching, but harder.
At least every few pages, you want your reader to be thinking, “Oh wow, I can use that."
The Courage to Create
This book is my current slow read. I read it for inspiration. I’ve just finished the first chapter about what is courage and its relationship to creativity. Poetic and full of insights.
Every profession can and does require some creative courage.
We express our being by creating. Creativity is a necessary sequel to being.
Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us.
“Life fear.” This is the fear of living autonomously, the fear of being abandoned, the need for dependency on someone else. It shows itself in the need to throw one’s self so completely into a relationship that one has no self left with which to relate. One becomes, in effect, a reflection of the person he or she loves—which sooner or later becomes boring to the partner. This is the fear of self-actualization.
“Death fear.” This is the fear of being totally absorbed by the other, the fear of losing one’s self and one’s autonomy, the fear of having one’s independence taken away. This, said Rank, is the fear most associated with men, for they seek to keep the back door open to beat a hasty retreat in case the relationship becomes too intimate.
The essence of being human is that, in the brief moment we exist on this spinning planet, we can love some persons and some things, in spite of the fact that time and death will ultimately claim us all.
Have a great week.