This is the fourth book I’ve read by Jeff Goins. The first three were okay. There was his straight-to-ebook You are a Writer, a sort of ‘You Can Do!’ motivational message for people who want to write. Wrecked and The In-Between were better each exploring Goins’s story and calling. They kind of blend together for me, and I don’t remember which book said what or much from either one. For a while I read Goins’s blog but I there were one too many posts on how he built his brand and how I can grow my online platform. These sorts of posts bore me to tears (but had I listened this blog would be epic). I quit reading.
I tell you this because I genuinely like The Art of Work. Like his early books, it is rooted in Goins’s call as a writer, his desire to speak life to others and his ability to share his (and others’) stories. But this is a more mature offering. Goins walks his readers through a ‘proven path’ for discovering our vocation. With Goins, we learn to find our calling through:
- Listening to our Lives
- Apprenticing ourselves to others
- Having plenty of practice
- Building bridges for discovery
- Pressing through failure
- Mastering a set of skills to create a ‘portfolio life’
- Creating our legacy
Goins is somewhere is in his early thirties but I’m sure he gets carded all the time. He looks very young. When I read other books I felt like this kid didn’t have the understanding and experience necessary to dispense the type of life advice he’s trying to. I didn’t feel like that with this book. Goins draws on the wisdom of other writers (like Parker Palmer and Fredrick Buechner) and shares anecdotes from others who have discovered (and lived out!) their life purpose. Maybe it is that Goins earlier books were more anecdotal and this is better researched. Whatever it is I like it.
I recommend this for anyone struggling to find out what they are on earth for. The appendix has exercises and discussion questions designed to help you engage, implement this book.
Note: I received this book via SpeakEasy in exchange for my honest review.