You are not going to very often see me post a page from my notebook anywhere online. I’ve been keeping notebooks since I was 13, which believe me, is a long time. There will be an anniversary with zeros in it next year, and I might just bust loose with a celebration, even though I haven’t had a birthday party since I was 16 or an anniversary party ever (our 26th was August 8, lucky us!)
Kindle offered a special on this book called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. It’s a short book about creativity and letting yourself go, and it was the precisely the permission I needed when I started reading it. I made it last, doling it out to myself in little bits for a week or so. I liked it so much I sent a copy to DBeans, who is also a multi-creative individual. I’d like to buy the world a Coke… I mean, a copy of this little book.
It just so happens that Austin Kleon suggests doing a little log of one’s daily accomplishments, especially the creative ones. His example shows little drawings. I have been doing it for a few days, and kind of loving it. I’m not worried that the drawings are great, just that they express something I want to get across.
As many of you may know, I am walking a lot lately. I had a near-death-of-fitness-walking experience (knee issues) and I think I’ve been on a survivor high fueled by my FitBit obsession. I’ve walked more than 10,000 steps a day every day since August 17th. I’m getting to know my work neighborhood and my little town. When I get up in the morning I wonder where I will go and what I will see during the day.
Looking back at the drawings, I am kind of digging the stick-figure with a baseball cap and a ponytail version of myself.
I actually have another page, or at least the little drawings from it, that I want to share with you, but I’m going to save it, because there’s a great story that goes along with it, that deserves its own post.
Anyway, take a look at the Kleon book if you can. It’s good fun.
In any case, give yourself permission to create outside of your usual box, no matter how fun that box is.
It’s so good.
It may feel like you’re distracting yourself, but I really believe that it will end up feeding your favorite art form more than it will take from it.
I was kind of burnt out on writing for a while there –constant blogging not withstanding–and I let myself give a lot of time to music. I am just astonished to be part of a vocal group that is really good (I can say that because I’m only 1/4 of it) and that engages a completely different creative muscle, one that is all about listening to each other and creating something that satisfies us as a unit. All that positive energy fills the cup and helps me get excited about my more solitary creative pursuits.
If you do something creative –oh admit it, you do!–do you feel like you have to stick with it like a jealous lover, or do you like running off into someone else’s forte sometimes?