The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

I didn’t like this book at first. At the beginning, he talks about spiritual nonsense — the Source. It didn’t make much sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. The best approach is to ignore these parts or think about them as Rick’s way to express things that he’s unable to put into words. If you survive this initial shock, you get to the good part.

The good part, and why you should read it, is all the things that you believe in and wanted to hear somebody else saying. Things that we collectively lost along the way.

We live in a messed-up world where quality is reduced to a few numbers on a dashboard or where people stopped doing what they like and started doing what drives engagement. I needed to know that there are people who still appreciate simple things and who work for themselves.

His main point is that art (read it as ”anything you do”) is about yourself. The quality of your work is what you should struggle to improve. Everything else — feedback, critique, self-doubt, motivation — is a means to the final result.

At some point in my life, I lost track of who I am — there were too many voices aroud, and too many instances where I need to conform to someone else’s opinion. This book gave me a breath of fresh air and I don’t care anymore.