I read Steal Like an Artist over the weekend.
I didn’t mean to.
But I picked it up, flipped through it for just a couple minutes and the next thing I knew I was already a third of the way through and only put it down because I wanted to go find a blank notebook like Kleon recommends.
I love books like this. Kat said it well, I love books that are made up of “things you know but maybe needed to hear, things you didn’t know that you knew, and things that shift the way you look at creativity”.
Kleon talks throughout the book about how each artist is influenced by dozens or hundreds of artists and thinkers that came before. You learn one thing from one person, and pick up another technique from someone else and are inspired by a third person’s big idea. It is the combining of all these ideas that you “steal” that makes your work original.
I love that idea.
To that end, and to make sure that I am only spending my time on work that truly inspires me, I really want to refocus my consumption habits. We haven’t had TV for pretty much our entire relationship, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t let all kinds of junk into my brain. I need to let go of my completist tendencies. For example, I should not have finished the Divergent series. I’m not calling it garbage, but I didn’t love it, and I knew it.
Some other filtering I’m doing:
- I canceled a couple books on my library hold list that I’m not excited about
- I deleted a bunch from my Amazon wish list
- Goodreads To Read List – I’m coming for you next. I already try to only add U.S. History books with an average rating of 4.0 or higher, but still.
- I’ve got about 5 boxes of books to get rid of, and I’m looking to filling more
- I need to purge probably half of my Netflix queue
In the meantime, maybe I’ll read a few of Austin’s picks. And stay off sites like Facebook that just offer very little. Constant vigilance.
Pleas commit to the ‘Garbage In – Garbage Out’ mantra with me!
No more ‘hate reading’ of certain blogs. No more forcing yourself to read that chick lit (or classic) you think you should for whatever reason. No more trashy TV (you define what that means). (And join the L&R Book Club, while you’re at it)