Listened 005: Austin Kleon – Pencil vs Computer by Jocelyn K. Glei from Hurry Slowly
I speak with artist and writer Austin Kleon — best known for his book Steal Like an Artist — about the benefits of using analog tools in a digital world. We talk about Austin’s own unique office setup, which features an analog desk and a digital desk, and the unexpected power of going slow ...
Jocelyn K. Glei’s key takeaways were:

Why the best work often germinates in the analog space and gets executed in the digital space
How moving your body in physical space can act as a “brain reset” to help you shift your focus
When you should use a pencil and when you should use a keyboard as you execute on your ideas
How the constraints of analog (pen, paper, books, etc) can super-charge your creativity
Why the impulse to edit and/or tweak immediately can shut down the creative process
How writing things by hand helps you learn better and infuses them with meaning

Something that stood out to me what Kleon’s point that once you have it, you realise you don’t need it.

Bookmarked Something to look forward to by Austin Kleon (austinkleon.com)
I’d been struggling myself a bit with this re-read and Frankl’s emphasis on the future, how one must keep hope, keep his eye on the horizon. (Though I was particularly taken with his emphasis on imagination: how prisoners hold on by conjuring images of their loved ones, how a patient can sort out her decisions by pretending she’s lying on her death bed, looking back at her life.) I wondered how to reconcile Frank’s hopeful future-facing with my own feeling that life is more like Groundhog Day, and one should operate without hope and without despair.

A goal that isn’t too important makes you live in the moment, and still gives you a driving force. This driving force is a way to get around the fact that we will all die and there is no real point to life.

But with the ASG there is a point. It is not such an important point that you postpone joy to achieve it. It is just a decoy point that keeps you bobbing along, allowing you to find ecstacy in the small things, the unexpected, and the everyday.

What happens when you reach the stupid goal? Then what? You just find a new ASG.

Tamara Shopsin Arbitrary Stupid Goal

via Austin Kleon

Bookmarked Thoughts as nest eggs (austinkleon.com)
By simply writing down a thought, you encourage more thoughts to come. When you have enough thoughts pushed together in the same space — a collage of thoughts, juxtaposed — they often lead to something totally new. This is the magic of writing.
Austin Kleon continues his reading of Thoreau, this time sharing a quote discussing the idea of writing as a way of rescuing thought. He extends with the idea of the ‘nest egg’, an idea that produces new (and original) ideas.
Bookmarked Good theft vs. bad theft (austinkleon.com)
Despite the common saying, imitation is not flattery. It’s transformation that is flattery: taking what you’ve stolen and turning it into something new.
Austin Kleon returns to an idea that is central to his book Steal Like an Artist. Summarising TS Eliot, Kleon suggests that the secret is not imitation, but rather transformation. This reminds me of Harold Bloom’s idea of ‘anxiety’. I also love Kleon’s closing remarks:

If you met the artist you’re stealing from in a stalled elevator, would they shake your hand or punch you in the face?