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Summary

The creator of the Unmistakable Creative podcast makes a counterintuitive argument: By focusing your creative work on pleasing yourself, you can increase your productivity, happiness, and (eventually, paradoxically) the size of your audience.

Creating for your own pleasure - whether you're writing a novel, composing songs, or painting a landscape - can seem pointless. It's tempting to focus on pursuing money and fame rather than the process itself. But as Srini Rao warns, creating then turns into a chore that can harm your self-esteem and suck the pleasure out of life rather than being a source of joy.

Rao, host of the podcast The Unmistakable Creative, argues that we should counter this thinking by intentionally creating art for ourselves alone - an audience of one. In this book he shares the fascinating true stories of creatives who took this path, along with actionable tips and the research of creativity experts. You'll learn, for example:

  • How Oprah's intentional focus on her own work rather than the opinions of everyone else catapulted her into one of the most popular talk shows of all time.
  • How being process-driven not only can help you produce more work but can make you happier outside of your creative time.
  • How to put together a creative "team of rivals" whose feedback can help you hone your craft and filter out useless feedback.

By playing to an audience of one, we can find more happiness, increased productivity, and a greater sense of community. 

©2018 Srinivas Rao (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about An Audience of One

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Thought-provoking as always!

In a world where we are overwhelmed with other people's content, Srinivas Rao encourages us to step away from all the noise and develop a creative practice of our own. He reminds us of the intrinsic rewards and deep meaning that this can bring to our lives. Srinivas is a writer and podcast host whose work I've admired for over 3 years - I find many of his ideas to be really helpful. Two examples I particularly loved from the book are: thinking of 'presence as a pathway to getting ahead in your career' and the suggestion that 'whatever our creative habit is, we can decide whether it is a day of learning or a day of performance' (a quote in the book from Thomas M. Sterner, also a guest on Srinivas' show, The Unmistakable Creative).

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Byron Friday
  • 12-09-18

I was doing my art for the wrong reasons.

Over the last 10 years I started several projects. I was expecting to receive immediate feedback and when it didn't happen I got discouraged and eventually stop working on the project.

The truth is I'm not looking for props or praise . My reputation and Legacy with in my industry is already - reading this book has allowed me to gain clarity - I've since we started an important project that I've had on.

Srinivas this work is on the level of Seth Godin.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Angela Lackey
  • 14-01-20

PACKED with great tips, best practices, resources

Since buying on Audible a few weeks ago, and while painting in my studio, I have listened to this book twice fully and just started it over again. I have been able to recognize and achieve FLOW in all of my creating since, using many of the helpful tips in the book. This book covers so much to make you productive and live better in all aspects of life. Absolutely excellent for creative and non-creative people alike. It is entertaining and a positive journey for the mind. My husband is in the editing phase of his first book and An Audience of One helped me understand my husband's journey as an author much more. I see him as a fellow creative now and this new level of understanding helps me know what I can do to help my husband develop the creative space he needs to be his best. I have rarely come across a book that has helped me on so many levels! I eagerly await Srinivas Rao's next book!

4 people found this helpful

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  • MJ5280
  • 04-11-18

One Pebble

I find myself constantly chewing on the apples in this book! I believe passion fuels passion and it is clear that these authors have a zeal that’s contagious. I found the gems on productivity to be especially insightful. I didn’t realize how much of a distraction my social reflection was and how much I was conforming my creativity to the sake of others.

One pebble can change the current of things and ripple it throughout the masses, and I can finally see how much greener my own grass is. The moment I took off those social glasses, I started truly seeing that we shouldn’t be so caught up in what everyone else is thinking.
I think this book will inspire its readers to become that one pebble.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 23-12-20

More About Productivity Hacks Than Art

There were some helps tips for daily habits but I was disappointed that there wasn’t a deep exploration of art. I’ve already heard many of these productivity hacks from the books written by some of the authors he references. I’d say this could be helpful for someone new to art or an entrepreneur who wants to be creative.

It seems that more and more authors are making books that seem scrapped together from blog posts. Where are the days where authors went deep into topics and brought their own unique points of views?

I fear that America and west coat non-fiction literature is being taken hostage by group think where every author just references every other author as a way of cross promoting and forming some kind of back links.

The irony is that many of these 21st century books that try to help us be more efficient and work faster with hacks are being written with the same hacks. Don’t write a book from scratch, just like together all of your blogs, vlogs, and podcasts.

Then these books get used as a way of promoting ones blogs, vlogs, and pod casts even more. It’s like every online entrepreneur’s intention for publishing a book is bc they’ll be taken more seriously or bc they need something to make money from in addition to advertising. It all becomes a viscous cycle leading to today’s increasingly mediocre non-fiction literature that lacks depth, richness and originality.

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  • Larry W. Lockett Jr.
  • 16-08-18

Outstanding Book for Creatives

As a creative I found this book most definitely valuable. It accurately identified some issues that I was personally going through as a creative. It also gave me outstanding advice as to how to self correct these issues. I enjoyed the book so much that I'm recommending it to all of my other creative friends.

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  • Skip
  • 12-09-20

Nothing new here!

This book is very elementary, high school level. Not worth wasting your time here. The writer is way too full of himself.

2 people found this helpful

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  • P. Parker
  • 01-03-21

Excellent Encouragement for Creatives!

This book is SO full of awesome advice for many areas in the life of a creative. If you are a visual artist, writer, musician or performer, this book could become a favorite as it has for me. I am SURE I will listen to it again. And most likely, I am going to also buy the Kindle version now so I can highlight it like crazy!

Srinivas Rao's voice a pleasure to listen to, though, so I di recommend this audible version as well.

If you need a boost of confidence, some encouragement or just great advice on how to maintain a thriving creative life, this is a book you may find helpful.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-12-18

Relevant, insightful, and helpful recommendations

Many helpful and insightful observations of methods of productive creative work habits. These habits can be applied to any area of creative endeavor. Many relevant observations on working in a social media and intensely connected world that can help increase productivity.

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  • Samer Chidiac
  • 13-08-18

A bit of everything worth knowing about creativity

Most books that are written by bloggers and podcasters have a similar trend, they contain a lot of small parts and massive gratitudes of subjects more or less about one theme, an "Audience of One" uncovers some of one of the simple secrets that you may not know about how some massively successful creative writers and artists have kept hidden in the open.

It's always about you... What you like to listen to, what you like to read, what you like to see... You are your #1 Fan.

I Enjoyed the book!

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  • jk13
  • 05-09-18

Why is this a book?

I read/listen to every book on creativity that I can find. I didn't clean anything from this. It felt like the author was trying to use a REALLY BROAD definition of "creative" to the point that his advice was overly-general and vague.

4 people found this helpful