Jeff Goins on Real Artists Don’t Starve, Part 4

In his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, Jeff Goins discusses how we can apply prudent strategies in positioning ourselves for thriving in our chosen field of craft.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 4, Harness Your Stubbornness

In this chapter, Jeff discusses why it is essential for thriving artists to harness their stubbornness. He offers the following recommendations for us to think about:

  • All artists have a secret weapon, and it is stubbornness. It is not productive to be stubborn about everything. We need to channel the stubbornness energy strategically on things that count.
  • Strategic stubbornness is the ability to persevere and maintain passion for long-term goals despite adverse circumstances. Grit, as defined by Angela Duckworth, entails working strenuously toward challenges and maintaining effort and interest over time despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress.
  • As aspiring artists, our job is not to be perfect every time but to be creating. By consistently creating and delivering projects, we can harness our stubbornness and apply it toward the right things. We need to turn our determination into tenacity and leverage it to succeed.
  • Strategic stubbornness for thriving artists focuses on the vision, but we are flexible on the supporting details to get to the end goal. Along the way, there will be plenty of support and criticism, but the thriving artists do not take any of it personally. We realize the ultimate success might not be totally up to us, so the best we can do is keep on creating and delivering.
  • For most successful work or endeavors, talent did not cause them; tenacity did. If we want our work to succeed, we need to be stubborn about the right thing. In creative work, stubbornness can be an asset.

In summary, “The Starving Artist is stubborn about everything. The Thriving Artist is stubborn about the right things.”