Seth Godin IcarusToday, I’m thrilled to be talking to Seth Godin, bestselling author of Permission MarketingTribes, and many others. Forbes calls Seth a “demigod on the web,” and when I’m feeling uninspired and creatively drained, I often read through Seth’s blog and come away feeling refreshed and ready to create.

Seth Godin’s most recent book, The Icarus Deception, is a dare to make art and share it with the world. I personally found The Icarus Deception a challenge to finish because I got so many new ideas for how to approach my writing that I had trouble sitting still to read.

Enjoy the interview!

JOE BUNTING

Seth, it’s an honor to talk to you. Thank you for participating in this interview.

In The Icarus Deception, you say we have been taught to set our ambitions too low. What are healthy ambitions for writers? Should I want to get published by a major publisher, become a bestseller, and fly my private plane to book signings?

SETH GODIN

None of the above! If you want to write, write. Make a PDF and give it away. If it spreads, you’ll have no trouble getting published. If it doesn’t, you need to write more and write better.

Don’t wait for others to pick you. Pick yourself.

JOE

Do you think everyone has a story to share with the world? Or is storytelling just for people with talent?

SETH

Of course we all have stories in us. But do we have the guts and the generosity to share them? I hope that over time, we will. The goal isn’t to have everyone be touched by your story. It’s to have the right people connect.

JOE

What if publishers reject my story?

SETH

You mean like Harry Potter and like The Confederacy of Dunces and like Purple Cow? Good for you.

Write more, write better, share often.

JOE

What if my audience doesn’t care about my story?

SETH

Write more, write better, share often. It’s entirely possibly you’re not good. But the key word that’s missing is, “yet.”

JOE

You say you don’t believe in writers block. Can you talk about that?

SETH

Writer’s block is the fear of being judged. We don’t have trouble talking to a friend, because we know her and we trust her and the stakes are low. Writing can be that way if you let it.

JOE

What is the single most important thing I can do to become a successful writer? (My guess: “Make more art”?)

SETH

Yep.

And the second most important thing is to share it.

JOE

What are you working on next?

SETH

Breathing.

Two Things

First, thanks to Seth Godin, for his time and for challenging us to make good art and share it. As I read The Icarus Deception, I was deeply challenged to take more risks with my writing. I highly recommend it.

Second, this month, I’m taking Seth’s challenge and sharing my story “Hands” for free in exchange for your review on Story Cartel. If you’d like to read it, you can get a copy here.

If you’d like to use Story Cartel to share your book for free you can sign up here.

What art are you going to make? Who are you going to share it with?

PRACTICE

“If you want to write, write,” Seth says. So write. You might write:

  • a story
  • a poem
  • an essay
  • a song

Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re time is up, share your writing here in the comments section. And if you share, be sure to give feedback to a few other writers.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let’s Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).