Seth Godin’s “The Practice”

There are certain books that we all should have on our Writer’s Bookshelf. Here’s one that I can’t recommend highly enough:

Seth Godin’s The Practice.

I’m a huge fan of Seth’s work and I have been since Tribes in 2008. Every book of Seth’s that I’ve read has advanced my understanding of what it means to be a professional and to be an ethical and moral contributor to my brothers and sisters and to the planet. The Dip, Purple Cow, Linchpin, This is Marketing … all great. I even have Seth’s 20-pound mastodon, What Does it Sound Like When You Change Your Mind? on my coffee table.

The Practice is in many ways the best of all. It’s for you and me. It’s for writers and artists. Most of Seth’s work—his blog, his podcast, his altMBA program, the many series he does on freelancing and entrepreneurship and other topics—casts a wide, ambitious net to include business people, marketers, anyone who aspires to “create a ruckus” (in Seth’s phrase) or make a real change in the world.

The Practice is about creative work exclusively. Seth’s premise (which I agree with 100%) is that doing the work is everything.

Success comes when you do the work.

Satisfaction comes when you do the work.

Fulfilment comes when you do the work.

“Practice” in Seth’s definition does not mean what you do in preparation for the Real Game, as in basketball practice or practicing playing the piano.

“The practice” is the game.

The practice is what you and I do every day when we enter our workspace, close the door, and sit down to pursue our dream.

The practice is lifelong. The practice transcends aspiration for success. The practice endures when everything else fades. The practice is personal. It is ours alone. It is sacred.

Observe any artist you admire—living or dead, male or female, wild-and-crazy or conventional and sane. Every one will have a practice, and if you ask them their secret, they’ll tell you, “I do it every day and nothing gets in the way of that.”

The Practice by Seth Godin. It sits beside my desktop and it should sit beside yours. 

P.S. Seth’s blog is the first thing I read every morning. (The second is Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic.)

DO THE WORK

Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

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THE AUTHENTIC SWING

A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.

The-Authentic-Swing

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T

Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.

noboybookcover

TURNING PRO

Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"

Turning-Pro

The
Warrior
Archetype

A New Video Series from Steven Pressfield

Subscribe here for the full series.

37 Comments

  1. seth godin on November 11, 2020 at 3:35 am

    And to be fair, if there were no Steve Pressfield, there’d be no “The Practice.”

    Steve, you’ve turned on more lights and opened more doors for me than just about anyone I’ve ever read.

    Thanks for this review. I don’t read reviews, but in your case…

    I’ll treasure this.

    • Charles Costo on November 11, 2020 at 8:05 am

      Seth replying to Stephen. Made my day.

      • Donna Carlin on November 11, 2020 at 8:11 am

        Made my day, too!

        • Johanne Kieffer on November 14, 2020 at 3:23 pm

          Two people that truly inspire me to know I can do this…thank you! The Practice will be added to my bookshelf.
          Johanne

    • Adam Abramowitz on November 11, 2020 at 8:26 am

      Legitness 🙂

    • Alejandra on November 11, 2020 at 8:35 am

      ❤️🙏🏼🌹🥰☺️🌞

    • Kate Stanton on November 11, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Two of my favorite authors/creators/thinkers replying to one another? This has made my day!

    • Rhonda Lauritzen on November 11, 2020 at 11:21 am

      Seth and Steven, you are both among the most important thinkers of our day and you have made my life better, my business better, and my creativity better. Thank you. I regularly recommend your works to my readers and students, and often send your books as gifts. In turn, I hope that my work can somehow inspire those within my small sphere of influence. I just added The Practice to my Audible.

  2. Mary Doyle on November 11, 2020 at 4:28 am

    Your recommendation is enough for me – I just hopped over to Amazon to buy this one!

  3. Joe Jansen on November 11, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Grabbed one.

  4. renita on November 11, 2020 at 8:01 am

    To support small business bookstores, please consider ordering it through your favorite local bookstore or online through bookshop.org
    Renita

  5. Charles Costo on November 11, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I did his altMBA and the akimbo’s writing workshop, both great investments in myself. The motto is to ship work and it is very aligned with what you share in your non-fiction work.
    Another great book on writing is Stephen King’s, “On Writing”
    But also reading some inspiring novels like Bernard Cornwell’s work, especially the Sharpe series, motivate me to write.

  6. kcproctor on November 11, 2020 at 8:14 am

    A fellow fan of Seth’s work and yours, Steve. We read the same blogs each day!

    Thank you for sharing, and for consistently practicing. It’s a steady example for the rest of us.

  7. Tessa Souter on November 11, 2020 at 8:14 am

    I will definitely check this one out. I loved The War of Art and recommend it in my own book (Anything I Can Do You Can Do Better), along with (possibly even better) Turning Pro. Those two are my (equal) Number Ones. I love practical reminders that aren’t full of to-do lists. I read them constantly and I have given both books to countless friends. Looking forward to reading The Practice.

  8. Anael on November 11, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Nice!
    Stephen Nachmanovitch’s books Free Play and The Art of Is are two exceptional books on the notion of Practice, that I’m sure Seth’s complements elegantly.
    Steve, I’ve read Improv Wisdom thanks to your advice, so I believe you’ll love reading Nachmanovitch’s work, as it deepens many of the principles of improvisational work.

  9. vania paz ottoni on November 11, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Thank you for sharing your light.
    The path with light is better.
    Namastê

  10. Amy Martinsen on November 11, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Just got it! I’ll put it next to The War of Art…which is never far from me.

  11. Chuck DeBettignies on November 11, 2020 at 8:50 am

    “I do it every day and nothing gets in the way of that.”

    – So powerful!

  12. Sandy Peckinpah on November 11, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Steven, Your books have changed my writing practice… and my life. So grateful to know about Seth Godin’s book! Thank you!

  13. terry hickey on November 11, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I am reminded of how much I both enjoy and resist your book. I was sitting here struggling to be creative and there you were.
    Thanks

  14. Walter C Lucas on November 11, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Just downloaded it. Now to do more than just listen to it…..

  15. Joe+Ciccarone on November 11, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Wow!

    Steve Pressfield writing about Seth Godin.

    Can it get more legit than that???

    #StreetCredOverLoad

    Rock on…

  16. Jule Kucera on November 11, 2020 at 10:05 am

    The Practice isn’t sitting on my desk, it’s sitting on my nightstand. I’m savoring it, taking the gems into my dreams such as, “We become what we do” and “Reassurance is futile.”

  17. Scott Kampmeyer on November 11, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    My copy of “The Practice” should be arriving tomorrow. When I read the description, I thought the ideas in this book sound a lot like the ideas in War of Art and Turning Pro, so to see both Steven & Seth acknowledging each other here convinces me even more that this book will strongly resonate with me. Can’t wait to read it.

  18. Marcelo Lopez on November 11, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    It seems that when you “practice”, you are “turning pro”.

  19. jane on November 11, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    I already bought and read “The Practice.” I described the content and philosophy to a creative friend of mine and then I read YOUR description – you said it absolutely the best. Your prose is fun to read. You are a gifted writer BECAUSE you show up everyday. I have been with Seth many years too. Podcasts, blogs, books – all of it. I write all over his books and fold down the pages so I can re-read what he said. And I do the same for your books too! Notes all over. Many thanks to you and your kindred spirits for all you do to inspire and lead the rest of us.

  20. Emile Jarreau on November 11, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    You’re both my favorites 🤓✅

  21. York on November 11, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    Pre-ordered it and started listening to it the day it came out. Soooo many morsels of gold.

  22. Julie on November 11, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    I read Seth’s blog everyday! I started reading The Practice! It’s fantastic!

  23. Geoff on November 12, 2020 at 4:36 am

    I’ve read many of Seth’s books so it was without a doubt I’d be buying this one. Just finished The Dip this week, which I had always heard wonderful things about but hadn’t gotten around to yet. Two thumbs up. Just starting to dive into The Practice now. Should be an important book for me (as someone who faces massive Resistance when it comes to “shipping.”) I only wish I could find the finances to take one of the workshops or the AltMBA. I guess the books will due for now. Worth every penny. 😀

  24. Kati+Reijonen on November 12, 2020 at 4:58 am

    Yes! I love Seth´s no-nonsense ethos: Stop whining, do the work, and be humble. Also, DO something. Quote him AND Steven in my new book quite a bit. I hope folks in my country get to know both of these guys.

  25. Jane on November 13, 2020 at 6:08 am

    Our copies are due any day now. I am looking forward to reading it and this makes the anticipation even greater. I am eagerly awaiting my own book coming out next month, and it is in great part thanks to your, The War of Art and Seth’s work, that I have toiled on to the end and now am about to see the final product. Thank you for your continuous encouragement!

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  28. Colleen on November 21, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    After reading this post, I too bought “The Practice” by Seth Godin. I had to sit with chapter 46, Here I Made This, for awhile. Something said so simply made me aware of the beauty and uniqueness of words combined in sentences.

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