Though I didn’t become a professional musician or producer or recording engineer, I like to think that this kind of exercise — studying something you love in depth — is valuable no matter what the field or the genre. The results don’t matter. When you study something so closely, in so much depth, you learn what it is to really pay attention. And paying attention is the art that builds a more meaningful and creative life.
Don’t disappear on us. Don’t cancel your own subscription. Stick around. Keep going. The world is more interesting with you in it.
Everything is connected, but the connections only matter if you make them!
So, please: Keep making your art. Keep speaking the truth. We need your efforts, no matter how small and how trivial they may seem to you.
I think I have been caught in the envy trap before, especially when overlooked for promotion. It can be easy to get caught up in the blame game, but as Kleon highlights the benefit comes when you stop and take stock of such situations to provide the fuel to push on.
I believe that the first step towards becoming a writer is becoming a reader, but the next step is becoming a reader with a pencil.
H/T Doug Belshaw
Reading to an audience is best, because you start really judging the thing when you have to project it into a room full of people. Quentin Tarantino says he likes to read his scripts to his friends, not for their feedback, but their presence. “I don’t want input, I don’t want you to tell me if I’m doing anything wrong, heavens forbid,” he says, “But I write a scene, and I think I’ve heard it as much as I can, but then when I read it to you … I hear it through your ears, and it lets me know I’m on the right track.”
The joy and luck, for me, of writing my books, is that I’ve stumbled my way into a form (specifically: the illustrated gift book) that is not only commercial and popular, but also allows me to be as weird and as visual as I want to be. (I really do think of the books as fancy zines.) If they are shelved in self-help, so be it! All books are, in a sense, self-help: you help yourself to them.
Austin Kleon shares a handful of thoughts about the self-help genre. This includes being sceptical of the genre, the association with individualism, often such books are accidents and advice is autobiographical. This reminds me in part of the idea of bibliotherapy.
I started Rachel Cusk’s Outline, the first in her trilogy, and I’m not completely sure what the book is up to, but the sentences are really good, so I’m gonna stick with it.
Bad health care has killed more American artists than I could list here without my fingers falling off. The midterms are coming up, so if you want to support the arts, register to vote and vote for politicians who support universal health care.