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The Heart To Start: Stop Procrastinating & Start Creating

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  867 ratings  ·  64 reviews
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, int
Kindle Edition, 140 pages
Published December 3rd 2017 by Kadavy, Inc.
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  867 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Scott Wozniak
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
“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 ...more
Héctor Iván Patricio Moreno
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 som
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing

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.
Paul Bard
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 a
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 highli
Jeff Wikstrom
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.

Brad Bussie
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 bette
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Bruno Pedro
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great advice

Interesting read with lots of short stories taken from interviews. Easy to read and understand. If you're an artist or an aspiring maker you should definitely read this book.
Paul Grech
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
Based largely on anecdotes most of which through the author's conversation with other high profile creators on his own podcast - as opposed to academic research - I have to admit that this didn't make much of an impact with me. There were insightful snippets occasionally but not enough of them. ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
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).
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book to keep close everytime you think you cant make somthing.
Joyia Echols
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great takeaways

Read this if you want great takeaways on how to build the momentum to get started on your creative projects.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, e-books
David Kadavy has probably touched your life. If you use Google calendar, click new event, click goals and tell it what you want to do, how often and for how long and it will automatically find gaps in your calendar to slot tasks in. That’s his app that he sold to Google some years ago.
I find it weirdly comforting that the guy who invented this has trouble getting stuff done. It feels so human, you know?
Perfectionism is dangerous because perfectionism is a real “humble-brag” of a quality. When jo
Marissa Lete
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you’re struggling with figuring out how to start a project- a book, a blog, any kind of art, really- this book is a great place to go. Kadavy dismantles all of the mental barriers that keep us from jumping into a project and gives excellent advice on how to change your perspective and get things done.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
You do things in little bit and pieces. You start off small, and you get bigger and bigger.

This is abundance. A luxury of place and time. Something rare and wonderful.... We must do extraordinary things. We have to. It would be absurd not to.

- Dave Eggers
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
David tells a lot about his personal story and mental barriers that he dealt with before and while starting to write his bestselling book Design for Hackers. It's an interesting read backed by stories of other famous people.

The essence for me on how to start is to build a habit with a small commitment, e.g. to write for about 10 minutes a day, which is used as a trick to your ego that leads to further time investment when you are getting into the flow. You have to reward yourself with tiny thing
Ben G
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: learning
OK, so in the spirit of not procrastinating and wasting time unecessarily, this review will be super-short.

I was bought this by my signifcant other for Christmas 2018 and I can say that it has been an enlightening read. This book was written for someone like me seasoned procrastinator and perfectionist as I am.

One of the many top tips here is 'if you can get started now, then do so!' Another being the techniques of 'motivational judo' where you set a timer (e.g. 10 - 20 minutes) and you focus so
Wan Azilawati
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good motivational “you can” book, not a “how to” book. David had delivers a clear, consice and precise message to create self awareness and cultivate strong will to start any project or task. Best wishes!
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
So, I think the advice in this book is fairly sound, but this author seems to be operating in a very masculine sphere, hanging out with his exclusively male buddy motivation gurus (having read a few of their books, they all seem to cite each other), untrammelled by family or other obligations, able to work for hours in the morning without any interruptions. Not saying that women researchers are overlooked, e.g. Carol Dweck is cited (of course!), but I think if I do read another book in this "get ...more
Lehel Ferencz
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
From the position of feeling the need for a new a paradigm shift I found myself in the book offered a welcome helping hand to gently nudge me away from the self-defeating idealization of daunting tasks that markedly defined my attitude towards creative endeavors and instead proposed an incremental kind and gradual self-expression spearheaded by the acceptance of the places creativity takes you to and of prioritizing exploration over exploitation.
Robert Calangiu
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Easy book to get you started

I've started this book mainly because my 3 year old daughter bought it for me while playing with my Kindle 🙂. Didn't returned cause it seemed interesting. It was a quick and easy read with only a couple of little things that you can apply but more important it's a good read for getting started and realize all the things you've been doing to delay the moment and all the things you're telling yourself. Just start!
Cathy Ferringo
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply powerful techniques to help you get started

I heard about this book on Jeff John's podcast, and immediately ordered on kindle.

This book is exactly what I needed. It is full of practical experience and knowledge plus stories of how other people used these tecniques.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Quick tips: the epilogue summarizes everything you need to know. :) My favorite part of this book is that it suggests you break through the gravitational pull of the ego if you want to live outside of the template that others try to set for you.
Brian Keating
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great motivational read!

David Kadavy provides pithy and powerful tips and insights about what keeps us going, and what gets us stuck. Highly recommended for anyone who is up to big projects!
Jordan Marsh
A short ra-ra book that more than anything reinforces, “just do it”. I think the act of just reading a book like this, regardless of what is in it, will help people get going. Still though, some good ideas from an interesting author.
Jorge DeFlon
A good short book about how to start your adventure.
Kamga Tchassa
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I made a video review on my YouTube channel. The cool part was, the author loved it!
Amy Blankenship
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an excellent book! I highly suggest it if you need help getting the motivation to start any art (writing, music, painting etc.).
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David Kadavy (@kadavy) is a bestselling author, blogger, podcaster, and speaker. Through his blogging at and his podcast, Love Your Work, he helps people find satisfaction through following their crafts, even if it takes them down unconventional paths. David's writing has appeared in Quartz, Observer,, The Huffington Post, McSweeny’s Internet Tendency, and Upworthy. He has spoke ...more

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Audiobooks are an incredible way to experience stories—a great narrator can use their voice bring the narrative to life in a way that the...
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“We dream of building a fortress when we should be starting with a cottage. We fool ourselves into procrastinating by exaggerating how much time we really need. We create mental blocks by imagining our work will follow a linear progression.” 2 likes
“The only way to become your true self is to find the art inside you and make it real. Your art is the best expression possible of who you really are. You make art when you take your passions, your interests, and even your compassion for others, and combine them to make something uniquely yours.” 2 likes
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