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  • What's up, party people. I'm Marie Forleo, and for the past 20 years I have been obsessed

  • with learning what it takes to turn dreams into reality. I started my company back in

  • the day with no clue, no connections, no money, and over time grew it into something spectacular.

  • I created the award-winning show MarieTV, was named by Oprah as a thought leader for

  • the next generation, and wrote the instant number one New York Times bestseller, Everything

  • is Figureoutable. I've helped millions of people transform their

  • businesses and lives, and every week, I'm going to help you take action and make the

  • difference you were born to make. But please do not expect anything about this to be traditional.

  • We've got songs, we've got weird sound effects, the occasional F-bombs, maybe some fart jokes

  • if you're lucky, and anything else that makes me laugh. It is all fair game because this

  • is the Marie Forleo podcast. If you're a book lover or a book writer or

  • some kind of creative human being, today's episode is for you. We're going to talk about

  • our love of books today, and specifically, books that have helped my team and I overcome

  • some creative challenges like perfectionism, imposter syndrome, or just that general feeling

  • of not being good enough. So think about this one like a little bit of a virtual book club

  • between you, myself, Team Forleo, and our entire community. I want you to put on your

  • cozy pants if you got them, or you can just take off your pants, who cares, no one's going

  • to see you. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, a glass of red or sparkling water, whatever

  • floats your beverage boat, and settle in for a very special episode that we're calling

  • #ILovedThisBook, creativity edition. But first, a word from today's sponsor.

  • Oh, geez Louise, not again. What's wrong, Charlene?

  • Where do I even start? I'm writing consistent content every week on my website and nobody

  • seems to care. Have you tried The Copy Cure?

  • The Copy Cure? What's that? Oh, it's this online copywriting course to

  • help you write clear and compelling copy for social media, blog posts, website copy, whatever.

  • It's helped thousands of marketers, authors, copywriters, and entrepreneurs write in a

  • way that's persuasive and unique-sounding without being overly weird or pushy.

  • I don't know. You think it's really going to help?

  • Oh, absolutely, Charlene. In fact, you should take the free seven-day writing class that

  • we're offering right now at thecopycure.com. Ooh, sounds great. Where do I sign up for

  • that free writing class again? Oh, it's thecopycure.com. And, oh, honey,

  • if you still didn't hear it, rewind the damn podcast.

  • One of my earliest memories was when I was about four years old. I was sitting in the

  • grammar school library in Iselin, New Jersey on the floor, surrounded by piles of books.

  • My mom was volunteering for my older brother's class and the kindergarten teacher, her name

  • was Mrs. Krusin, was keeping an eye on me. I remember feeling intoxicated by that special

  • smell of books that libraries always have and just feeling mesmerized by it all. I felt

  • like every book was this window into an entirely different universe, and I would trace the

  • words and the pictures with my fingers working so hard to figure out what it all meant.

  • One of the first books that I got obsessed with was Harold and the Purple Crayon. Do

  • you remember that one? I loved the colors of the book, but I think the thing that really

  • got me was the fact that the entire story was about a child who had the power to create

  • his own world using his imagination. He wanted to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there

  • wasn't a moon, so he drew one in. And then after walking along this straight path for

  • a bit, he realized he wasn't getting anywhere. So he took that crayon of his and he drew

  • a new, different path, which led to a lot more adventures.

  • Books have always been, and I predict they always will be, a huge part of my life. Every

  • single thing that I've done or overcome or learned usually ties back to something I figured

  • out or got inspired by in a book. People still ask me all the time. They say, "Marie, what

  • books do you recommend?" In fact, somebody just asked me on YouTube, they said, "Hey,

  • Marie, can you do a video on the top 20 books that made the biggest impact on your life?

  • Your must-reads." If you've listened to this show for any amount

  • of time, you know I often interview authors about their books, but given everything that's

  • happening right now, I thought it would be fun to curate a little reading list just for

  • you specifically about creativity. You can find the full list of all the books on the

  • blog if you google, "Marie Forleo books to read on creativity."

  • Now, if you're wondering, why are you guys picking creativity as the theme for this one,

  • here's the reason. Right now, most of us have to be even more creative than we've ever been

  • before and we have to do it fast. We all have to change the way that we're living and working

  • and doing business and even moving about our lives, which requires tremendous creativity

  • and imagination, and a bit of determination. I want to share with you a little passage

  • right now from one of my all-time favorite books about creativity. It's called The War

  • of Art and it's written by my dear friend, Steven Pressfield. The title of this section

  • is called Resistance and Fear. Steven writes, "are you paralyzed with fear? That's a good

  • sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have

  • to do. Remember our rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more

  • sure we can be that we have to do it. Resistance is experienced as fear. The degree of fear

  • equates to the strength of resistance. Therefore, the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise,

  • the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our

  • soul. That's why we feel so much resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there'd be no resistance.

  • Have you ever watched Inside the Actors studio? The host, James Lipton, invariably asks his

  • guests, 'What factors make you decide to take a particular role?' The actor always answers,

  • 'Because I'm afraid of it.' The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch.

  • He takes on the assignment that will bear him into unchartered waters, compel him to

  • explore unconscious parts of himself. Is he scared? Hell, yes. He's petrified. Conversely,

  • the professional turns down roles that he's done before. He's not afraid of them anymore.

  • Why waste his time? So if you're paralyzed with fear, it's a good sign. It shows you

  • what you have to do." That's the end of the passage from The War of Art.

  • Now, why do I love this one so much? Because every major breakthrough in my own creative

  • life, before I do it, and even as I'm doing it, I've got to be honest, I'm terrified.

  • I remember feeling so afraid when I gave my very first personal development workshop when

  • I was about 24 years old. I was also terrified when I decided that I wanted to do a different

  • kind of book launch for Everything is Figureoutable. It was an idea that I had that had literally

  • never been done before. I thought to myself, what if a Beyonce concert and a TED Talk had

  • a baby, and then threw a block party? And if you've been following me for a while, you

  • know this, we did it. It was amazing, and it was scary the entire way through.

  • And now I'm actually starting to work on my next book, and there's aspects of this one

  • that have me totally twisted up. But as I've learned, and as Steven shares, you have to

  • trust the guidance of creative fear. As I like to say, fear is a GPS for where my soul

  • most wants to go. And I bet the same thing might be true for you too. Now, some of Team

  • Forleo are here to share their favorite books about creativity too. Have a listen.

  • I'm Marian and I'm a copywriter. I chose Bird by Bird by the incredible Anne Lamott and

  • this book, she wrote it years ago, and it's about creativity and writing, but from a personal

  • angle, which I think is one of the reasons that this book resonated with me so much.

  • It's not a how-to about writing, it's musings on writing life but not douchey, because I

  • realized that sounds really douchey, but basically Anne just talks about her journey as a writer

  • and the struggles and the advice and the things that have gotten her through the writing life.

  • I think about this book all the time because I write all day for my job and I do a lot

  • of personal writing. The single idea that changed my life was in this book, and the

  • idea is Lamott's take on the shitty first draft. So basically, just sitting down and

  • getting something out. Because I have always found on the days when I just don't want to

  • write and things feel terrible, or when I'm working on my novel and I don't know where

  • it's going, or I'm trying to write an email and it's just coming out wrong, that if I

  • just get the shittiest version out on paper, it is infinitely easier to edit, and it feels

  • so much freer once there's something on the paper.

  • And I think Anne, who is this incredibly talented writer, talking about the garbage that comes

  • out the first time she writes something, makes me feel better because I think she just has

  • this really funny way of talking about how basically even the best writers that you know

  • have no idea what they're doing until they've done it. And nobody just sits down at their

  • desk with their beret and their cigarette and churns out this beautiful sentence, that

  • it takes a ton of work and a ton of workshopping and a ton of editing. And knowing that has

  • made me feel so much better about the writing process. So I talk about and I talk about

  • this concept all the time. This is my favorite part of Bird by Bird and

  • it makes me laugh every time. So here we go. "The first draft is the child's draft, where

  • you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is

  • going to see it and that you can shape it later. You just let this childlike part of

  • you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page. If one of the characters

  • wants to say, 'Well, so what, Mr. Poopy Pants?' you let her. No one is going to

  • see it. If the kid wants to get into really sentimental, weepy, emotional territory, you'd

  • let him. Just get it all down on paper because there may be something great in those six

  • crazy pages that you would have never gotten to by more rational, grown-up means. There

  • may be something in the very last line of the very last paragraph on page six that you

  • just love, that is so beautiful or wild that you now know what you're supposed to be writing

  • about, more or less, or in what direction you might go, but there was no way to get

  • to this without first getting through the first five and a half pages."

  • My name is Louise and I am Head of Storytelling. I chose From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil

  • E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. This was one of my very favorite books as a kid, perhaps

  • my favorite, and it still is now. It really impacted my life. I related a lot. I read

  • it probably way earlier than I should have, and I related a lot to Claudia Kincaid, the

  • main character, in her desire for adventure and to kind of shake up her life. I never

  • thought about running away, but I admired her desire to do so and to choose the Metropolitan

  • Museum of Art in New York City as the place to go. I think it definitely intensified my

  • determination to live in New York City, which I do. And I actually read it out loud when

  • I was pregnant with my son Griffin a few years ago. I just decided to read it, and it probably

  • took me about a month to get through it, but it was one of the things I read out loud.

  • I just picked it up. I don't know why, probably because I have such a love for it.

  • I'm going to pull up the section of the book that has always sat with me. Claudia and Jamie

  • have met Mrs. Frankweiler and they're talking to her about learning something new every

  • day. And she said, "I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a

  • great deal, but you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell

  • up inside of you until it touches everything and you can feel it inside you. If you never

  • take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle

  • around inside of you. You can make noise with them but never really feel anything with them.

  • It's hollow." It is a beautiful book with thick mystery

  • and intrigue and the map of the museum, and everything I've ever read about the book and

  • I guess they did a 50th anniversary thing at the Met for it, everything about it is

  • talked about, like the adventure and the intrigue and the idea of living in a museum for a week,

  • and all of these cool things that would happen from that. And where would you sleep and what

  • would you do when no one else was there? But I think the biggest thing is about the idea

  • of learning and knowledge and absorbing and that you have to take the space for that stuff

  • to fill you and change you, because otherwise, it just washes over you. It rattles around

  • inside of you, as she says, and it never really sinks in and becomes part of the matter of

  • you that then brings whatever you're supposed to do to the world.

  • I'm Jayasri. I'm on the Customer Happiness Team. We really support our customers through

  • B-school, The Copy Cure, life and everything that MarieTV brings forth and people's hearts.

  • I chose Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. I chose that book because I remembered

  • reading it at a time, I was a teenager when I first read that book, and I had lost my

  • father. Needless to say, it was a really difficult time. And this book is just so comforting.

  • It's a collection of 10 letters from the poet Rilke to another young poet, really giving

  • life advice and so many nuggets of wisdom about the creative path and the journey. And

  • it's so much about going inward and trusting the process and trusting our path. So it was

  • so comforting for me and I thought it really connected to the topic of creativity in a

  • unique way. I would say that one of the things that has

  • challenged me the most personally, creatively, is having so many different interests and

  • really wanting to explore different creative outlets. I've been so hard on myself about

  • that and thinking that, no, it just has to be one thing. If you want to do something

  • well, it can only be one art form. But everyone has a different journey. And if your heart's

  • being pulled in these different creative mediums or towards these different creative mediums,

  • to just allow it, just let it be. There is something unique for you in each of those

  • explorations, and again, it comes back to that comparing with others. If we compare

  • to others, we might think that it has to be or should be a certain way, but just trusting

  • that your voice can come through so many different forms, and you don't know where it's leading

  • or how they connect and it's okay. For anyone feeling the impacts of uncertainty

  • during this time, this passage from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke is one

  • of my favorites. "Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery,

  • any depression? Since after all, you don't know what work these conditions are doing

  • inside you. Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming

  • from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions

  • and you wished for nothing so much as to change." Kind of fun, right? Remember, you can check

  • out the full list of curated books about creativity over at marieforleo.com/blog.

  • Now, one more thing. I read this stat in the New York Times, I thought it was fascinating.

  • It was about 80% of people in the world feel like they have a book in them and they should

  • write it. I bet you have either written a book already or you're working on your next

  • one or you want to write a book. And let me tell you a little bit of an embarrassing secret.

  • When I was working on Everything is Figureoutable and I was writing it, I hit all kinds of walls.

  • I had writer's block, I was getting super down on myself, I even cried a lot of times.

  • You name it, I had it. You want to know one of the things that I did when I got stuck?

  • This is the embarrassing part. I actually went and did the exercises from my own writing

  • course called The Copy Cure. That's right. I went and took my own damn advice and I did

  • my own course to get unstuck, and guess what? It worked.

  • And look, I'm not the only one. I actually got an email from a Copy Cure student who's

  • also an author named Michelle, and she wrote, "Dear Marie, Copy Cure has been a game changer

  • for me and my work. In fact, my little girl and I released a new children's book on the

  • 30th and it's been an Amazon bestseller." Her name is Michelle, and her book title is

  • Coco & Olive: The Color of Love, a children's book celebrating diversity and adoption.

  • Honestly, even if you don't want to write a book ever, there is a good chance that you

  • have something you want to share with the world. Maybe it's an idea, it's a product,

  • it's a service, something that you have to get the message out about. And I believe,

  • personally, one of the most powerful skills in the world is the ability to articulate

  • your ideas in a way that's clear and inspires people to take action. And, yes, that is a

  • skill. It's one that anyone can learn and develop.

  • So I've got this free class coming up. It's called The Five Writing Mistakes You Can't

  • Afford To Make In Your Business. And if you're interested, you should come. You can go register

  • now at thecopycure.com. I do want to let you know that doors to the full Copy Cure writing

  • program open on May 6th. We're going to have all the information up at thecopycure.com,

  • and if it's right for you, we'd love to have you join us. We back everything up with a

  • 100% satisfaction guarantee and, of course, you have access to material for life.

  • And now my friend, it's time for our insight to action challenge. Remember, we do not want

  • passive listeners here on the Marie Forleo Podcast. We want you to metabolize what you

  • learn and use it to create a richer, fuller life. Today's challenge, very simple. I want

  • to know what book has made the biggest impact on your creative journey and why. So all I

  • need you to do is take a screenshot of you listening to this episode, tag me at Marie

  • Forleo, and if you can, tag the author too. Writing a book is a really challenging process,

  • and as an author myself, it means a lot when you hear from readers that your book made

  • a difference to them. So tag me and