Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

I’ll download almost any free Kindle book, unless the review are really bad or it’s obviously a romance novel. When “Do The Work” showed up free, I took it. I’d heard the name “Steven Pressfield” before, but it didn’t register.

Turns out he wrote a book that’s somewhere on one of my reading lists, “The War of Art”. Obviously, it’s a take off on Sun Tzu’s book, which is also on one of my reading lists. I guess I should stop listing books to read and actually read some, huh?

I typically do read 30-70 books a year, at least since I started keeping track in 2009. You don’t want to know how many books a year I buy, or download for free on Kindle, or borrow from the library or… I seem to have some sort of addiction to books. Or at least, to learning. Those I can’t buy or don’t show up for free on Kindle go on my wish list or one of the lists I keep of books I need to read for one reason or another. Perhaps the book is for my professional development. Perhaps the book is supposed to help me be a better husband, father, handyman, or whatever. Or the book is simply one that “everybody” is telling me I need to read. Once I rediscovered a love (and need) for fiction, that only added to the volume of books I can’t possibly read in my lifetime.

Do The Work is more of a manifesto than a book. It’s mostly for creative types and entrepreneurs. I’m apparently neither, yet I try to incorporate skills from both realms into my growth. Someday, I may be ready for such lines of work.

Do The Work is intended to be motivational. It gives a short and concise motivational overview of the creative process, the most important part being: “get started! Do it!” It’s so easy to never get off the ground. But doubt and resistance are with you every step of the way, even to the point of shipping. The author mentioned a friend who wrote an entire book but never shipped it because of doubt.

It covers tricks to keep yourself motivated and moving. It talks about how movies are broken down into 3 acts, and how to use that outline for other creative type work.

I’d say, since it’s free, just get it. Do The Work is a VERY short read. I may read a lot, but I don’t read fast. I was able to read Do The Work during my commute to and from work today. No, I don’t read while I’m driving. I slug. That is, I park my car in a commuter lot and jump in the car of somebody else who is driving to where I’m going because they need 3 people in the car to get in the HOV lane. I repeat the process coming home. On days when I need my car immediately after work for some reason, I drive in and pick up slugs. It’s the perfect symbiotic system. Everybody wins. In any case, I started the book on my iPhone when I got in the car, and I finished it just as we were pulling up to the commuter lot after work. Less than an hour’s reading at my pace, on an iPhone, in a moving car with periodic stops to look around and skip songs. It’s quick and easy, and for the price of FREE, it might actually help you. You can buy it from my affiliation below:

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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