Real Artists Don’t Starve (Book Review)

Real Artists Don't Starve Book Cover Real Artists Don't Starve
Jeff Goins
Business & Economics
HarperCollins Christian Publishing
June 6, 2017

In Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with timeless strategies for thriving, including: steal from your influences (don’t wait for inspiration), collaborate with others (working alone is a surefire way to starve), take strategic risks (instead of reckless ones), make money in order to make more art (it’s not selling out), and apprentice under a master (a “lone genius” can never reach full potential).

Through inspiring anecdotes of successful creatives both past and present, Goins shows that living by these rules is not only doable but it’s also a fulfilling way to thrive. Creatives already know that no one is born an artist. Goins’ revolutionary rules celebrate the process of becoming an artist, a person who utilizes the imagination in fundamental ways. He reminds creatives that business and art are not mutually exclusive pursuits. In fact, success in business and in life flow from a healthy exercise of creativity.

My Thoughts

Four years ago, Jeff Goins wrote a book called You Are a Writer. I reviewed it last year and gave it a 3 star. You can tell Jeff practices what he preaches because his writing has improved by leaps and bounds.  He knocked this book out of the park.  The writing is tight and he has done his homework.

I have a small bookshelf and very few books make it onto it. This one will –right next to On Writing by Stephen King and Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott.  My only regret is that I didn’t read the book with a highlighter in my hand.  I plan to share it with a few writer friends and then re-read it again early next year.

Jeff is a solid writer. I enjoyed the organization, the research, the structure, and the stories.  He is encouraging and motivational.  Sometimes I had to stop reading it before bed because I got so excited about writing that I couldn’t fall asleep.  It is rare that I give a book a 5 star, but Jeff earned this one.

I would recommend it to anyone considering pursuing their dream of writing.

Summarize the book in one sentence.  You don’t have to choose between a creative life and a prosperous one.


BookLook Bloggers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.