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Jessie L. Kwak's guide to getting things done for creative people who want to make art AND make a living
Jessie L. Kwak's guide to getting things done for creative people who want to make art AND make a living
313 backers pledged $8,221 to help bring this project to life.

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$8,221

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We made our goal! Thank you! This means we can print this book without the crushing weight of debt; any creative person knows what a magical thing that is. It also means we are announcing a....

Stretch goal: At $7,000 we'll produce and send a From Chaos to Creativity workbook to every backer who pledges for a copy of the book! 

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What’s your passion project? What’s your art? 

Are you satisfied with your creative output? Are you feeling swamped by external obligations, and having a hard time prioritizing? Do you ever feel guilty about doing your creative work because you should be working on other tasks instead? (Or about working on other logistical tasks when you should be doing your art instead?)

It’s my hope that this book will arm you with a clear sense of what your priorities are and a plan for streamlining your tasks so you can feel confident that you’re working on the right thing at the right time. Together, we can create a system to capture all the chaos milling about your head, build filters to sort and minimize it, and design a work schedule around your rhythms. 

Let’s do this. 

—Jessie L. Kwak, From Chaos to Creativity

About the book

From Chaos to Creativity is Jessie Kwak's response to the culture of productivity. As a full time freelance writer and novelist, she spent years looking for ways to cram as much creative work as possible into evenings and weekends—and finding it to be a recipe for burnout. 

Finally, she stopped looking for the perfect, robotic "productivity system" and developed a "creativity system" to help her corral the chaos of everyday life and create the space to meet her creative goals. And in her new book, she shows you how to build your own customized creativity system—from the big picture thinking, planning, and dreaming to the nitty gritty details of doing the work. 

Along with drawing on her own personal experience, Jessie interviewed other creative people to find out what works—and what doesn't work—for them. From actors and dancers to artists and graphic designers, you'll find a wealth of examples and creative wisdom in her book. Plus, she's gleaned the best ideas from every productivity book and online get-it-done tool, so you can spend time using the tools instead of researching them.

If you've been struggling to find the time and energy to write, paint, dance, create, love, laugh, and live, you need this book. 

Time to get down to it and follow your passion!

About the author

Jessie L. Kwak is a freelance writer and novelist living in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of paranormal thriller Shifting Borders, the Durga System series of gangster sci-fi stories, and a silly short story collection about content marketing during the zombie apocalypse. When she’s not writing B2B marketing copy for freelance clients or scribbling away on her latest novel, you can find her riding her mountain bike, road tripping with her husband, and wrangling a number of sewing projects.You can learn more about her at www.jessiekwak.com, or follow her on Twitter (@jkwak).

About the publisher

Microcosm Publishing, based in Portland, Oregon, has been publishing and distributing books and zines since 1996. Fourteen workers spend our days juggling art and math, book design and spreadsheets, editing books and filling out their marketing data, time management and the ability to generate good ideas. We're very excited about this book, and it's already helping several of us manage our daily work better. 

About the Rewards

The Book Itself

From Chaos to Creativity: Building a Productivity System for Artists and Writers by Jessie L. Kwak is a 192-page, 5"x7" paperback book. It officially comes out on October 8, 2019 — Kickstarter backers will receive their copies several months early.

You can get a PDF copy of the book in several of the reward tiers, or by adding $10 to any other reward level.

The Business of Creativity

From Chaos to Creativity shows you how to preserve time and energy for your art—and these additional books show you how to use that art to pay your bills without selling your soul. It includes:

  •  From Chaos to Creativity 
  •  Punk Rock Entrepreneur - Caroline Moore's motivating guide to starting a creative business with no budget
  •  Grow -  Eleanor Whitney gives you the nuts and bolts for all the things you need to do to actually run that business

At the Business of Creativity Plus level, you'll also get:

  •  DIY Screenprinting -  John Isaacson's comic book walks you through the steps of silkscreening plus the extra steps of selling and marketing what you produce
  •  Make a Zine - Joe Biel helps you conceive of, write, edit, lay out, produce, publicize, and sell your own lo-fi publications, with chapters on zine history and culture

Publishing Power Pack

Are you here because you want to publish books, your own or others'? This reward's for you! Includes:

Creative Lives

Creative role models are so valuable. You can see how they do things, learn from what works and doesn't work for them, and gain a deeper understanding of what might work and not work for you. This reward level includes:

  • From Chaos to Creativity
  •  Good Trouble - The story of Microcosm publishing, and an idealistic, autistic person making their dreams a reality, with lots of bumps along the way
  •  My Life in a Jugular Vein -  Daily diary comics capturing the immediacy of life as a punk musician (Comes with a CD, too!)
  •  Dream Whip 1-10 - The hand-written travel journals of an artist and filmmaker
  •  Beyond the Music -  Interviews with a couple dozen people who took their roots in punk music and applied those values and that creativity to their adult work

Jessie Kwak Superpack

So what exactly is all this creative work that Jessie is getting done in such a chill, yet organized manner? She's a talented and prolific author, writing mystery-infused science fiction on topics that range from interplanetary organized crime to corporate responses to the zombie apocalypse. Here's what's in this collection of her works:

  • From Chaos to Creativity
  •  Business as Usual - Laugh out loud stories by Jessie about corporate life during the zombie apocalypse. We're all just trying to keep a professional face on during the end of the world

Plus her three Durga System Novellas:

  • Starfall - A teenager fights for her freedom and for her new family
  • Negative Return - A jaded operative must choose a new side, fast
  • Deviant Flux - A young woman must choose between finding her lost family and saving the people she cares most about

Plus three of Microcosm's feminist bicycle science fiction anthologies in which she has stories:

Ebook-only backers will also get one more anthology that we're currently between printings on:

All the Nonfiction Books

Here's a rundown of all the books you'll get at this level:

  • From Chaos to Creativity
  • Punk Rock Entrepreneur
  • Grow
  • DIY Screenprinting
  • Make a Zine
  • A People's Guide to Publishing
  • A People's Guide to Publishing Workbook
  • Good Trouble
  • My Life in a Jugular Vein
  • Dream Whip 1-10
  • Beyond the Music

All the Books

This level includes all the books in the Nonfiction level, plus all the books in the Jessie Kwak Superpack. Complicated enough for you? Phew. We're excited to send you a lot of books!

Risks and challenges

Which is greater, the risk of creating amazing books and beautiful art but falling into disorganization and debt while we do it, or the risk of being such devout businesspeople that we forget the passions that brought us to this line of work to begin with? That's the line we walk every day. Thank you for supporting this project and helping us (as well as yourself!) succeed both creatively and logistically!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Just the PDF

    You'll receive an early-release pdf copy of From Chaos to Creativity. No paper books will be mailed in the fulfilling of this reward.

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    From Chaos to Creativity: paperback

    One paperback book, mailed to you.

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    Paperback + PDF

    You'll receive a paperback copy of From Chaos to Creativity in the mail, and we'll also email you a pdf of the book.

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    Two copies of From Chaos to Creativity

    Two paperback copies of the book! Add ten dollars for each additional copy beyond two (if you live outside the US and choose 3 or more copies, we may require additional postage).

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    The Business of Creativity

    Your own copy of From Chaos to Creativity, plus two other Microcosm books, Grow and Punk Rock Entrepreneur, about turning your creative passion into a business.

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    Publishing Power Pack

    A copy of From Chaos to Creativity, plus the new book A People's Guide to Publishing + its accompanying workbook

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    The Business of Creativity Plus

    Your own copy of From Chaos to Creativity, plus four more Microcosm books that help you turn your passion into a business: Grow, Punk Rock Entrepreneur, DIY Screenprinting, and Make a Zine

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Creative Lives

    A copy of From Chaos to Creativity and four books about people who have successfully built their lives around creativity: Good Trouble, My Life in a Jugular Vein, Beyond the Music, and Dream Whip

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Jessie Kwak Superpack (paperback)

    You'll get a copy of From Chaos to Creativity, plus a selection of Jessie's science fiction: her three Durga System Novallas, including Starfall, Negative Return, and Deviant Flux; her short zombie story collection Business as Usual; and Bikes in Space 1 & 2 and Pedal Zombies, feminist bicycle science fiction anthologies that each include one of her stories.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Jessie Kwak Superpack (ebooks only)

    No paper books will be mailed in the fulfilling of this reward. You'll get a PDF of From Chaos to Creativity, plus a selection of Jessie's science fiction in ebook: her three Durga System novallas, including Starfall, Negative Return, and Deviant Flux; her short zombie story collection Business as Usual; and Bikes in Space 1 & 2 and Pedal Zombies, feminist bicycle science fiction anthologies that each include one of her stories. At this ebook level only, you'll also get a copy of the Biketopia story collection, featuring one of Jessie's stories!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Ten books

    Ten copies of From Chaos to Creativity, perfect for bookstores, art supply shops, writing groups, acting classes, or creative gift givers.

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    All the Nonfiction Books

    You'll get a copy of From Chaos to Creativity, plus one each of all the nonfiction books offered as rewards in this Kickstarter! (See project description for a list.)

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    All the Books, period.

    You'll get a copy of From Chaos to Creativity, plus a copy each of every paperback book offered as a reward in this project, fiction and non.

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Funding period

- (30 days)