Weekly Reading Update – The Writer’s Manifesto by Jeff Goins

At first, I thought that this little gem was very similar to Steven Pressfield’s the War of Art series. It was essentially a call to action manifesto for writers explicitly, and nothing else this compact and powerful was able to motivate me to sit down and write like this one.

However, Jeff’s individuality shines through at the very facet where the manifesto differs from Pressfield’s – it dug extremely deep into the motivation of a writer. Not only did it kick you in the ass to get up from your bed and write, but it sat you down firmly on your writer’s throne and forced you to search deep into your soul: why is it that you write? Do you write because you want to earn money, fame, recognition? Do you write because you want girls to adore you, your parents to be relieved at how you turn out, or for all your friends to fawn at your latest novel? Or do you write because you absolutely love it?

Put it simply, this manifesto made me fall in love with writing again. Stop writing to be read and adored. Hell, not even for blog likes or shares. Write because you adore it, because you love it, because if you stop writing, you can’t live. So go back to the intrinsic motivation, and stop worrying about the other things. Jeff has managed to align his writing to principle greater than himself: once you’ve got the core settled, everything else comes in place. I believe the message of his work will last through the generations, perhaps in different forms, though different voices.

Who knows, you might be the next one to write the next kickass manifesto! So throw away your money-chasing, fame-grabbing, attention-seeking clothes and put on your truest, sincerest love-for-writing tunic and get down to it!

Download Jeff Goin’s manifesto here. You’ll have to subscribe to his site first for a free copy (or buy it for 99 cents), but trust me, it’s worth it. Once again, I’ve no incentive to promote, other than because this book is good.


Weekly Reading Update – More Time Now by Dave Navarro

As an ex-chaser of productivity, I can definitely attest to the first, eye-catching message that I read from this excellent manifesto: STOP CHASING PRODUCTIVITY!

In the past, for an entire month, I actually tracked to the dot, how I spent my time, and what I did with it. I spent at least 1 hour a day tracking, and another hour planning the next day. Furthermore, whenever I reached a certain time limit, I would stop an activity half-way, or at least plan for it to end within a certain ‘clean zone’. To be honest with you, it was the WORST experience ever.

I was unable to be satisfied with anything I do, because although I was racking up ‘productivity points’, none of my actions were actually inherently enjoyable. Even those that I looked forward to throughout the week slowly became something I dread, because I kept thinking to myself that it was a task that I needed to complete and tick off – I had no autonomy when it came to my own actions; they were completely slaved to the plan.

Now, planning is not entirely wrong, but as Dave rightly points out in his manifesto, priorities are what’s important. We may dream of grand goals, but we only act on our priorities. Because life is not such a clean fit as we think or wish it to be, often times, extended, micro-planning is a waste of time. Rather, aligning our lives to priorities, and very strictly to them is more important. An example that Dave uses is the ‘putting a call on hold’. You’re doing important work, and a call comes in. Is it life-threatening? Does it affect any of your top priorities now? If the answer is no, then put it on hold, carry on with your work, and answer later.

Dave also suggests a few other key points, such as taking micro-action, and not wasting time!!!, both of which I wouldn’t spoil for you, dear reader.

Head over to this link, grab a copy for yourself and watch your effective time expandhttp://www.rockyourday.com/moretimenow/

Also, I’ve got to say, check out rockyourday.com (by Dave Navarro) if you haven’t already. It’s more than fantastic.

See you next week!

Weekly Reading Update – The Tower by Chris Guillebeau

I’m not sure if anyone follows my reading updates, but I’ve recently decided to post my reviews on the delicious things that I read here, so that the other page can be kept uncluttered.

Last week’s reading was The Tower, by Chris Guillebeau, creator of the fantabulous blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. I’ve taken a liking to manifestos. Firstly they’re shorter, secondly they’re more inspirational (as compared to overly informative), and thirdly they’re easier to remember. “Tower” by Chris begins with a candid confession of how he got addicted to what appears to be the popular gaming app, ‘Tiny Tower’ (correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve never actually played that game!).

He then develops his thoughts on how systems within the game actually motivate players to regularly devote their time to it, and how those very same systems can be extrapolated into real life, so that we can build our own ‘towers’ in a non-virtual environment – a legacy work that actually outlasts ourselves. There are definitely flaws in the virtual system as well, which Chris expounds upon as he contrasts it with real life. Additionally, you’ll find other incredible examples of people’s legacy work in the manifesto.

So in conclusion, Chris Guillebeau reveals the surprisingly HUGE amount of inspirational power behind his tiny tower metaphor, and if you find yourself needing a little creative boost in the middle of the week, I’ll advise you to check it out!

Download his fantastic work here.