An Audience of One

Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake
Narrated by: Srinivas Rao
Length: 3 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (106 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

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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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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!

1 person found this helpful

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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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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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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

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  • Roshan Daryanani
  • 11-07-18

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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  • Hellè Weston
  • 12-12-19

Must read for creatives who've lost the spark!

I really enjoyed this book - I read a lot of non-fiction and this was definitely one of my favourite reads of 2019!

It's an honest, intelligent, sincere, heart-felt and practical look at how we lose focus on what matters in our creative pursuits and how we can access inspiration and flow again.

I would especially recommend this to anyone who struggles with feelings of overwhelm, comparison or thinking there's too many people doing what you do and you don't want to contribute to the noise.

This book has given me the gentle nudge I needed to remember how it felt to create when I was a child and I had nothing to gain or prove! I just did it because I wanted to.

Service to the world is important but I think often the greatest way we sabotage our efforts is by creating for the wrong reasons and losing our personal connection to the fun, joy and magic of what we do along the way.

This book is a power-punch reminder that your best art happens when you're present in the process and doing it because YOU want to!

Big thanks to the author. Your work has inspires me to get to work on my craft.