Good Reads! #2

09 September 2015

Austin Kleon
I just read these two books for the second time last week! I highlight any passages that I find inspiring while reading (I think I did mention this before!), and these two books have been highlighted quite a lot. Austin Kleon's writing style is brief, direct and visually interactive and his books are filled with an array of cool illustrations, quotes, stories and examples. As a perfectionist (sigh!), unfortunately I always have ongoing nagging voices in my head that most of the time distract me from my short-term or long-term goals or sometimes the tiniest tasks that I'm working on (that's when my procrastination kicks in!). These voices are usually like, "This is not good enough!", "Why do you think this is even interesting to write about, Saba?!", "Don't share your work, it's incomplete!" and so on... The more I listen to these voices, the more they multiply in quantity! Very dangerous indeed!
If you're a perfectionist, you definitely know what I'm talking about, right?! I'm always waiting for a perfect piece of artwork to share. It.has.to.be.perfect, otherwise it's not going to be online! Well, this is the worst characteristic of my personality I think (although I'm working on myself to beat it!). I remember one of  A Beautiful Mess 's blogging tips was that not to be too harsh on yourself and write about the things you care about, otherwise you'll never progress in your creative endeavour.

These two books have definitely helped me to be more open about what I'm working on, my ideas and what I'm learning online and most importantly to pay less attention to every single detail and instead share my creative process and enjoy it (less self-editing!). Whenever I'm in my "perfectionist" state of mind, I'd always refer to these books, always!

Show Your Work is about using the network (by sharing your process in a way that attracts people who might be interested in what you do) instead of wasting time networking. This book is NOT about self-promotion, it's about self-discovery. It tells you to let others into your process and to build an audience by sharing that process and let them steal from you! It shows that you have to be open, generous and brave. It's an inspiring book for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age.
Steal Like an Artist is about discovering your artistic side and build a more creative life. Nothing is completely original so embrace influence, learn from the work of others, mess around, wander, fail, get better and discover your own path. I love this quote from Jim Jarmusch that says "Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic."

P.S. I think it always pays to leave our ego at the door. It's time to stop worrying and start sharing! :)
* You can find my first blogpost on good reads here. 

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