The Heart to Start: Win the Inner War & Let Your Art Shine Info

Fan Club Reviews of best titles on art fashion, artists, history, photography. Check out our top reviews and see what others have to say about the best art and photography books of the year. Check out The Heart to Start: Win the Inner War & Let Your Art Shine Community Reviews - Find out where to download The Heart to Start: Win the Inner War & Let Your Art Shine available in multiple formats:Paperback,Kindle,Audible Audiobook The Heart to Start: Win the Inner War & Let Your Art Shine Author:David Kadavy Formats:Paperback,Kindle,Audible Audiobook Publication Date:Dec 13, 2017


You have something to offer the world. Find the
inspiration and motivation to finally start making your
art.

In The Heart to Start David Kadavy, bestselling
author of Design for Hackers, shows you how to overcome fear,
self-doubt, and distractions to win the inner war and finally let your
art shine.

Through the stories of great creators, from Picasso to
Maya Angelou, interwoven with David's rise from cubicle-dweller to
bestselling author, and from the guests of David's podcast, Love Your
Work
, you'll learn:

  • What "inner war" keeps your art
    inside you? You'll learn from Steven Pressfield, Ryan Holiday, and Sean
    Stephenson.
  • Where can you find explosive ideas worth following?
    Learn about the magic of your inner voice from Maya Angelou, the
    Impressionist painters, and J. K. Rowling.
  • Why is perfectionism
    the most dangerous form of procrastination, and what can you do about
    it? You'll hear from Ira Glass and Ed Sheeran.
  • How can your big
    dreams actually hold you back? You'll learn from daredevil Evel Knievel
    and cartoonist Hugh MacLeod.
  • What motivational martial art can
    knock your ego on its back and propel your project forward? Learn from
    behavioral scientist Dan Ariely, and a U.S. submarine
    captain.

If you're a writer, artist, filmmaker, musician, or
entrepreneur, you'll find the inspiration and mindset to bust through
fear, self-doubt, and procrastination to show your work to the
world.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.50

743 Ratings

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Reviews for The Heart to Start: Win the Inner War & Let Your Art Shine:

5

December 12, 2017

A Must Read for Every Neurotic Creative!
I first discovered Kadavy when a friend recommended his first book to me: Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty. In that book, Kadavy's prose is as eye-grabbing as his insights are eye-opening.

So I was excited to read this book. Again, I was dazzled by Kadavy's way with words, but the impact on me was much deeper this time, as the subject of this book is very dear to me: how to achieve consistent creative output.

I believe some of us are, by temperament, born to create. If we don't labor to transfer the contents of our inner-world into the outer-world, we will silently die a spiritual death. Then eventually, we will die a physical death, with our art still trapped inside of us.

This fact may be obvious to many, but when you focus on the urgency of creating, it typically makes us creatives more neurotic. We obsess over unimportant details, and get trapped in self-defeating thought loops "This isn't good enough." "I'll never make it". "I'll never finish this."

Personally, these thought loops used to leave me with a sense of helplessness. It even triggered a deep depression in me last year. At times, I was convinced that I could never escape the maelstrom of my own mind.

But then I discovered Kadavy's work on the subject, and I slowly started to make my way to calmer waters. In Heart to Start, Kadavy distinguishes several concepts I never considered before. Just being able to label the thoughts getting in the way of my creating helped immensely. Coupled with his very actionable strategies for training the mind out of these thoughts, these ideas buoyed my mind and helped me get my business ideas out there in the world.

Now, I create and ship WAY more products, content, and ideas than I have in any other period of my life. All because I finally found the heart to start.

If you're currently struggling to get started on your next business or creative venture, then you may find your heart in these pages...
5

June 28, 2018

Basically faultless self help
Basically a faultless book. Precisely what the book promises in the cover and opening preface, it performs for the reader.

Kadavy delivers a precise message on how to create what your heart's desires, dividing it into three seconds on the laws of creating, the motivation, and the practical techniques. Superb, simple, direct, and sincere.

I particularly like the opening which tells you why you might wish to stop reading the book. That won me over. Charming.

EDIT: Reflecting on this book five days after reading it, I am impressed by the simplicity of Kadavy's thinking. He's not trying to invent anything new here, he's just trying to HELP.

Here are some notes I made from the book:

- Ideas are FUEL not a judgement
- Look for the Pump Idea, the idea that makes your heart beat faster.

I love how he talks about the Voice in such a non-mystical way, very practical.

I appreciate for the first time really that when a great idea doesn't work out there is real sadness and disappointment. I never noticed that. Thankyou.

- Appreciating overcomes fear and doubt. Magical advice!
- The work of art reveals itself THROUGH itself. Kadavy speaks beautifully about the mystery of creativity here.

My next action is: Set a timer and work on a creative project that inspires me for ten minutes.
5

January 8, 2018

Learn to get out of your own way and begin creating your best work
If the common advice of "just do it" were enough to get started, nobody would ever feel stuck. "The Heart To Start" is a concise, thought-provoking read with minimal repetition, that shines a light on the reasons why it's hard to get the momentum to begin something, and in doing so, arms you with a new perspective that can help remove obstacles and clear the path towards doing the creative work you were meant to do.

It's a common practice these days for authors with successful blogs and podcasts to distill them into book form and republish their content. I'm happy to say that "The Heart To Start" is not one of these books. David Kadavy certainly draws from what he's learned from dozens of interviews he's done for his popular "Love Your Work" podcast as well as his own life experience struggling to overcome creative blocks, but the thesis he constructs here is an entirely new one within the library of his work.

"The Heart To Start" deconstructs the reasons, both emotional and practical, that starting something new can be difficult. These explanations are helpfully paired with ways to reframe your thinking to reduce the weight of these blocks. Some of these factors are in your head and tied to ego and emotions: What if everyone thinks my work is awful? Others are simply fallacies and biases that humans tend to get stuck in: This project is going to take so much of my time so there's no way I can start it! Kadavy picks these counterproductive feelings and biases off one by one, and leaves you with the sense that maybe that thing you thought was a scary monster under your bed was actually just a harmless shadow.

While some of the advice offered is tactical, the book doesn't focus explicitly on productivity techniques, and I think this is actually to the reader's benefit. There are thousands of books full of hacks and techniques to make you more productive, but not nearly as many that take the time to help you examine why you feel the way you do, and to shine a light on the distortions and fallacies that hold you back and keep you from getting started. The act of exposing them might not kill them entirely, but it's much easier to power through them when you realize they're sabotaging your efforts.
4

August 21, 2019

Instantly useful, research-based book!
This is a good book. Although it is relatively small, it is packed with excellent, highly usable advice on how to get out of your own way - so that you can create art (in whatever form - writing, painting, etc). I especially like that this book is research-based and makes sense. The only issue with this book, like any self-help book, is actually implementing the ideas in your own life and work. I recommend this book. Please mark if you find my review helpful. Thank you so much!
5

May 6, 2018

Get Started, Stay on Track, Get it Done!
I initially received a copy of this book to review, and by the time I got to the third page went to Amazon and bought it. This is a short, straightforward plan for getting started on a project and conquering the demons that will try to stop you in your tracks. Kadavy talks about how our mental programming creates barriers to moving forward, then gives concrete examples and easy to follow steps to deal with them.

Kadavy points out that everyone is unique and needs to explore and build on this uniqueness in a world where so much is now mass produced. He says that the only way to do this is to find the best expression of who you are and move forward to create from that. He sees ego as born out of fear, and therefore something that holds you back. It works to protect you from potential harm. He says that your ego, in its protectiveness, hates your art.
I could easily summarize the entire book; I'd recommend that you discover the rest of it for yourself. You'll find excellent ideas on getting and staying motivated, finding the vacuum that creates a demand for your ideas, and developing a routine that will keep you going. I'll be getting a hard copy so that I can find all the paragraphs I've underlined more easily. I'll also be buying this for my coaching clients
4

July 19, 2018

but following them and implementing your plan are not so easy. He makes this very clear in describing his ...
First of all, if you are looking for a motivational book full of psychological revelations and business jargon, this is not it . This book is light, but not in the sense of being simplistic. The rules the author lays out are simple, but following them and implementing your plan are not so easy. He makes this very clear in describing his own experiences. The secret to success, he argues, is not so much knowing what you want to do, but taking the risks to make it happen and following through. He shows how effective it is to break down your task into smaller, more easily accomplished tasks so as not to lose momentum and get discouraged.

Though the book is written in a peppy, conversational style, it is concise and well focused on the major points. You can tell that he followed his own advice and made an outline before writing it.

I must admit that I also enjoyed the book for certain coincidences in experience that helped me relate to his journey. I lived for several years in his hometown, Omaha, and I have lived and traveled to some of the Latin American countries he has visited. He resides in Colombia, a country I visited as journalist back in the days when drug barons and leftist guerrillas had made it very dangerous. It is much better today and it is a beautiful country. The fact that he can do what he does from Colombia as easily as he could from Los Angeles or Omaha is testament to the incredible resource called the internet, something that has opened up lots of opportunities to every creative and determined person in the free world. My only very light criticism of the book is that it might have explored this a little more. I would like to have learned more about his experiences in CoLombia, for example, and I think he could have added a little more detail about others who have succeeded. It would have been interesting to read more about his blog, how he developed it, got people like Steven Case to be guests and what he did to make it more appealing. Perhaps all that is found in another of his books.
5

September 15, 2018

YOU
David's style is awesome! Some of his recommendations might seem obvious, but without the right way of thinking about them when approaching them- its easy to shrug them off. There are reasons you are not getting anything done and all of the reasons David presented resonated with me. Last night I jotted a few sentences down for a blog post idea ("create in little pockets of time" instead of FB or whatever) and when I went home I wrote a full blown post! I told my perfectionism to take a long walk off a short pier. Also, David talked about following your curiosity. What a breath of fresh air. And he gives great examples of how this was so crucial to some really successful people. I"m always reading "focus in tightly on one specific niche" kind of thing. I shouldnt keep trying to force myself to do that anymore, it will happen on its own.
Thanks for the wonderful words David! Keep up the writing.
5

May 3, 2018

Practical, accessible, and helpful guide to getting started
I enjoyed this thoughtful book. I got it in paperback and Kindle and would recommend having both. It's helpful on Kindle to be able to add notes, highlights, and to have the ability to quickly jump around and search by keyword. It's nice to revisit certain sections that way. And to scroll through all your notes and highlights in one place, so you can scan through them again as a refresher. But it's also nice to have the paperback. It's just a different reading experience, one that suits non-fiction and writing advice in particular. Highlighting a page in a paperback is a different process for the mind than highlighting digitally and aids in retention. Also, I have a thing for small trade paperbacks. They're pithy, they're cute. And this one is packed with meaningful stories and writing advice.

I took away many helpful tips, including the mind trick of setting easy goals. Like ridiculously easy goals that it would be embarrassing not to meet. Really, you can't write 10 minutes first thing in the morning (although for me, after my coffee). Just getting to the page is sometimes half the battle because of internal resistance. Often, once you've gotten into the writing it goes longer than the ten minutes, but you can also stop at just ten if it's one of those. Or one of those projects.

Kadavy shares his personal stories in a readable, very accessible way, with an understated humor that invites the reader in. We're brought into everyday struggles and victories, as well as more life-changing, mind-changing moments.

I didn't agree with or relate to every single thing in the book, but that's not the point. It's about trying new things and adding to your toolkit. At least, that's how I look at it.

If you've read The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, you will find The Heart to Start a good follow-up read. (If you're a creative and you haven't read The War of Art--what? Get that now too.) Each of the sections of The Heart to Start are essentially practical personal essays that provide a helpful "visual" snapshot into the life of a creative dealing with the everyday troubles of resistance.

I've also found Kadavy's companion Heart to Start podcasts and interviews on YouTube to be interesting and helpful.
5

December 14, 2017

Great quick read for anyone trying to get started on their idea
I downloaded it today morning n am done reading it by 6pm. I am writing my first children’s story book while working full time in bay area’s rat race. Though I am mostly done with my work, this is a great read, so much to relate to and several points to learn to finish off my work and set up my business. Thank you for sharing your story.

You should read if you are contemplating starting a project of your own and are not finding motivation (in other words have been giving yourself excuses).
3

June 30, 2018

It could have been shorter
There were a few good nuggets. This could have served better if it was condensed article. I was disappointed because of the length was not necessary for the content.
4

Jul 20, 2019

The authenticity is great in this book. And the ideas are deep. It's another motivational "you-can" book, not a "how -to" book. This one is especially good if you're a worrier, as the author's struggles with that will resonate with you.
5

January 9, 2019

I almost didn’t write this review
I generally skip past writing reviews. I think “I don’t have time for this, it will take forever, and does it really help anyone?” I can say with certainty after reading this book I was able to take ten minutes. Sure, my review might suck. But if it helps one person, then it did its job. This book is about getting started in all things. You can do anything for 10-20 minutes right? Just begin and the rest takes care of itself. Messy is good. Non-linear? Even better.
4

Dec 12, 2017

“The same way a rocket needs to escape the gravitational pull of Earth to get into space, your art needs to escape the pull of ego to get into the world. You’re going to need some serious fuel to make that happen.” I’m a perennial fan of punchy, exhortative get-off-your-ass books such as Stephen Pressfield’s classics The War of Art and Turning Pro, Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist, and Seth Godin’s entire oeuvre. This book by the creator of the Love Your Work podcast is a welcome addition “The same way a rocket needs to escape the gravitational pull of Earth to get into space, your art needs to escape the pull of ego to get into the world. You’re going to need some serious fuel to make that happen.” I’m a perennial fan of punchy, exhortative get-off-your-ass books such as Stephen Pressfield’s classics The War of Art and Turning Pro, Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist, and Seth Godin’s entire oeuvre. This book by the creator of the Love Your Work podcast is a welcome addition to the genre. I’ll be rereading its 140 pages often for rocket fuel. 8.5/10 ...more
1

February 5, 2019

Don't Bother to buy
Not very helpful. Mostly bragging about what he did.
3

February 18, 2018

A good read to get you motivated
This is a pretty short book about the author's experience and struggles on getting started with projects or tasks. In my opinion, this book is a lot better than those over hyped motivational books full of profanity and whatnot. Simple and short. I wish it had more content but it's a decent book nonetheless.
5

Jul 24, 2018

This is a truly valuable read for everyone who wants to start doing something he/she likes or feels passionate about.

I can note that this book is inspired on the ideas of many other books and persons, but although I've already read several of them, this book has original and never heard advice at least by me, or presented in a completely different and original way.

Some of the ideas that stuck with me are:

- We inflate the goals/dreams or action needed to reach those goals, if we want to start This is a truly valuable read for everyone who wants to start doing something he/she likes or feels passionate about.

I can note that this book is inspired on the ideas of many other books and persons, but although I've already read several of them, this book has original and never heard advice at least by me, or presented in a completely different and original way.

Some of the ideas that stuck with me are:

- We inflate the goals/dreams or action needed to reach those goals, if we want to start something, we must start working right away, without thinking much about it.

- We can trick ourselves to start by saying little lays, using the force of our own ego against it.

- Taking advantage of the little spare time we have around the day to make productive or beneficial things can take us a long way ahead.

- If we want to be great, we need to give ourselves permission be bad first.

There are so much other valuable ideas, quickly explained in this book, with enough examples and experience to reinforce them.

Great writing. ...more
5

Jan 12, 2018

Wow!

I had the opportunity to interview the author shortly after Design For Hackers and was amazed by David's humility and passion.

In this book it's as if you're sitting with David as he keeps it real about what's holding you back.

Definitely a book I'd recommend taking the time to read. Especially if you're up against a massive creative block or staring burnout in the face. Even if you're just starting out, this book has gems upon gems to make your journey that much better.
5

September 17, 2019

Therapy for Procrastinators
I found this book to be truly helpful. Sometimes you need to understand why you do something (or don’t do something) before you can move passed it. I have struggled all my life to get started. This book explained why. Thanks to this book I now have a strategy to cope and move forward.

If I just remind myself to take a project one step at a time, I will feel less overwhelmed. If I start with the easiest steps, the next steps that are harder won’t seem so hard. If I give myself permission to suck then I won’t be crushed under the pressure I am so willing to put on myself. My ego is trying to protect me by telling me I’m great but that I shouldn’t test that theory just incase it’s wrong.

David’s words are so relatable, heartfelt, honest, and entertaining. I really enjoyed this read and will read it again.
5

August 24, 2019

Not just about starting... brilliant at helping navigating the messy middle to finishing!
I've never had a problem starting... finishing, well that's a whole nuther story.

Which is why I initially resisted my ADD book addiction to snatch this up immediately. However, when HTS popped up in my consciousness again, I decided there was a reason my gut was telling me to read it. So I did.

The headline sums it up. David is brilliant at helping navigating the messy middle to finishing! If your gut's telling you to read this book, I suggest you listen.

P.S. For what it's worth: I've never met David, and I almost never write reviews... but this was worth it because it helped me create the breakthrough I wanted.
5

May 11, 2018

Basically a faultless book. Precisely what the book promises in the cover and opening preface, it performs for the reader.

Kadavy delivers a precise message on how to create what your heart's desires, dividing it into three seconds on the laws of creating, the motivation, and the practical techniques. Superb, simple, direct, and sincere.

I particularly like the opening which tells you why you might wish to stop reading the book. That won me over. Charming.

EDIT: Reflecting on this book five days Basically a faultless book. Precisely what the book promises in the cover and opening preface, it performs for the reader.

Kadavy delivers a precise message on how to create what your heart's desires, dividing it into three seconds on the laws of creating, the motivation, and the practical techniques. Superb, simple, direct, and sincere.

I particularly like the opening which tells you why you might wish to stop reading the book. That won me over. Charming.

EDIT: Reflecting on this book five days after reading it, I am impressed by the simplicity of Kadavy's thinking. He's not trying to invent anything new here, he's just trying to HELP.

Here are some notes I made from the book:

- Ideas are FUEL not a judgement
- Look for the Pump Idea, the idea that makes your heart beat faster.

I love how he talks about the Voice in such a non-mystical way, very practical.

I appreciate for the first time really that when a great idea doesn't work out there is real sadness and disappointment. I never noticed that. Thankyou.

- Appreciating overcomes fear and doubt. Magical advice!
- The work of art reveals itself THROUGH itself. Kadavy speaks beautifully about the mystery of creativity here.

My next action is: Set a timer and work on a creative project that inspires me for ten minutes.
...more
5

May 22, 2018

Engaging Book on Taking That First BOLD Step

This was my first exposure to David Kadavy and I wonder why I haven’t run across his work before. Several people referenced by the author are people whom I also follow.

I found this book to be engaging and thought provoking. At various points, I found myself thinking, “That makes sense” or “I’ve had the same exact thought.” I appreciate the author does not try to take credit for “inventing” a particular trend or general good practice. Instead, he Engaging Book on Taking That First BOLD Step

This was my first exposure to David Kadavy and I wonder why I haven’t run across his work before. Several people referenced by the author are people whom I also follow.

I found this book to be engaging and thought provoking. At various points, I found myself thinking, “That makes sense” or “I’ve had the same exact thought.” I appreciate the author does not try to take credit for “inventing” a particular trend or general good practice. Instead, he highlights that, in fact, many other people were thinking the same as he did, but...they took action. This is a defining feature of serial entrepreneurs and inventors. Leaders take action while others let their own thoughts, fears and insecurities hold them back.

If you are doubting yourself or you believe your thinking is crazy, you should read this book. It’s a fast read, but I found it full of useful thoughts and ideas. There were many times I stopped and had to think about a concept. I will read this again as I know there will be even more nuggets of knowledge I will glean in the second reading. ...more
5

Jan 04, 2018

I was reading this book as I finished 2017 and started 2018. 2017 was a great year for me. I was able to focus on me, getting back in shape, meditating, journaling, and even doing a little bit of blogging. I'm ready to go further this year, and Heart to Start was a great segue for me. It's honest, practical, and full of great examples. It's a quick read too and pretty scannable. I feel like I'll be able to thumb through it again throughout the year to refresh my memory and keep on track.

Thanks!
5

Jan 09, 2019

I almost didn’t write this review

I generally skip past writing reviews. I think “I don’t have time for this, it will take forever, and does it really help anyone?” I can say with certainty after reading this book I was able to take ten minutes. Sure, my review might suck. But if it helps one person, then it did its job. This book is about getting started in all things. You can do anything for 10-20 minutes right? Just begin and the rest takes care of itself. Messy is good. Non-linear? Even I almost didn’t write this review

I generally skip past writing reviews. I think “I don’t have time for this, it will take forever, and does it really help anyone?” I can say with certainty after reading this book I was able to take ten minutes. Sure, my review might suck. But if it helps one person, then it did its job. This book is about getting started in all things. You can do anything for 10-20 minutes right? Just begin and the rest takes care of itself. Messy is good. Non-linear? Even better. ...more
3

Feb 18, 2018

A good read to get you motivated

This is a pretty short book about the author's experience and struggles on getting started with projects or tasks. In my opinion, this book is a lot better than those over hyped motivational books full of profanity and whatnot. Simple and short. I wish it had more content but it's a decent book nonetheless.
3

Jan 02, 2019

While I’ve read a few books on overcoming the barriers to starting something - I enjoyed Kadavy’s candid telling of his own work highlights and experiences that illustrate each of the phases that impact getting you going on creating new art (or any new endeavor you’ve been putting off).

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