Review of Creative Calling

Yesterday I completed Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis. He’s someone I’ve been following off and on for a couple years now. I originally stumbled across him on YouTube. I also listened to his podcast for a while. As happens with most things in this day and age, after consuming these for several months I tired of them and unsubscribed. Chase reentered my thoughts as he was doing his book tour. I can’t remember what podcast I was listening to but he was a guest. I was intrigued.

The book does a nice job of sharing Chase’s thoughts as to what you need to do in order for creativity to occupy a larger percentage of your life. There’s a good balance between large ideas and tactical takeaways. There’s also an overall framework as to how to go about things. In other words, I’d say the book achieves its goal.

I take away several big things from this book. This is specific to me as I reflect on what I read and what I’d like to do with my life. The first is to be more confident. Easier said than done. Confidence is something which I’ve struggled with my whole life. I’m not a confident person. But it’s a requirement for stretching yourself. I need to continue to remind myself to be confident.

The second is to think about what I’m doing in the form of drafts and gradual improvement. This is something I’ve always known. For any report, PowerPoint, essay, sometimes even e-mail, you create a rough draft and improve it. I think this was really brought home in my last role as a Product Owner. We worked on Minimum Viable Products and we worked in sprints where you didn’t need something to be great every time you released it. You needed to break things into small pieces which work and build on each other over time. This gets you to an impressive eventual product. Seeing this work in a more traditional business setting brought to life how it works and reinforces that I need to think that way when it comes to my creative endeavors.

The third thing is that I need to share more. This is huge part of why I created this website. I’m also engaging on Facebook for the first time ever. I’m also changing the way I interact with Instagram. All of this is with the goal of sharing more of myself and my work.

So if you couldn’t tell, I give this book a thumbs up. My one piece of advice, don’t read a bunch of similar books all at the same time. I’ve read 4 books in the first half of 2020 which I would put in the self-help category. They all start to morph together into a stew which I can’t get as much out of. I should have paced myself and done a new one every 2-3 months to re-energize as needed. I don’t think I’ll touch another one for a while.