Insights to help you thrive as a creator amid the demands, distractions, and opportunities of the 21st century. Mark McGuinness has spent 21 years coaching creative professionals to achieve their artistic and career ambitions. In this book he shares 21 of the most powerful insights that have emerged from coaching conversations with hundreds of creatives - as well as from his own practice as an award-winning poet. Whether you are a fine artist, a performer or entertainer, a commercial creative, or a creative entrepreneur, many of your biggest challenges are the ones that are familiar to all creative professionals: * Finding—and staying true to—your deepest sources of inspiration * Carving out time to produce great work amid the demands and distractions of 21st century life * Balancing creativity, money, and your professional ambitions * Giving yourself a break from the relentless perfectionism of your Inner Critic * Creating your own security in an uncertain world * Believing in your vision when people around you just don’t get it * Deciding whether to approach publishers, record companies or other middlemen, or to “go direct” to your audience * Attracting an audience from scratch, or breaking into a tightly networked industry as an outsider * Dealing with rejection, criticism, and plain unvarnished failure * Dealing with fear and anxiety—about your work, about your audience, about the critics, about failure, and even about success Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by a 21st century creator is the one it’s easiest to overlook when you’re preoccupied with the demands of the day: How can you chart your course and make meaningful progress when you set out on an original path, where there is no conventional career ladder, no job security, and the usual rules don’t apply? This book tackles these challenges head on, and it provides answers you won’t find in books of traditional career advice: 1. Everything is powered by love 2. Reach for the stars 3. Something old, something new 4. Your creativity is your security 5. Forget the career ladder—start creating assets 6. Personal development is professional development (and vice versa) 7. Your struggle is a clue to your superpower 8. There are four types of work (and one matters more than the others) 9. Desire beats discipline 10. Your motivations are always mixed 11. Play the game you want to play 12. Pick two out of money, fame and artistic reputation 13. Find your medium, choose your media 14. Stay small, go global 15. Learn from the best in the world 16. Don’t let the crappy part put you off 17. Be thankful for your Inner Critic 18. Hustling is part of your job 19. Stop trying to earn money—start creating value 20. You can have all the excuses you want 21. Courage may be the missing ingredient Mark has deliberately kept this book short, so that you can burn through it in one sitting for a burst of inspiration. Or keep it handy on your phone and consult it in the quiet moments of your day, or on those days when you need to dig deep for motivation.