More takeaways from Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work

Opening comment: I hope readers gain even half the value as I do from writing this down freehand and rehashing/posting it.

But feel free to throw money, coffee, good pastries, or an ‘I adopted a shelter pet!’ certificate my way. [I’m a pretty simple guy, really.]

So, more takeaways from one of my daily go-to books for changing/reinforcing my thinking:  Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work:  **

Become a Documentarian of What You Do.  

“Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording
your process as you go alonreading-at-desk-1200g has its own rewards. You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress.” [It’s what I’m trying to do at]


Be an Amateur  

“Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results. They take chances, experiment, and follow their whims.” [I have a poster on my wall: If not now, when?  Works for me.]

“The world is changing at such a rapid rate, it’s turning us all into amateurs. Even for professionals, the best way to flourish is to retain an amateur’s spirit and embrace uncertainty and the unknown.”

Read Obituaries.

“Reading about people who are dead now and did things with their lives makes me want to get up and do something decent with mine.” [In his case, be a good dad and husband, create, curate, and share art and experience.]

He continues, “Take inspiration from the people who muddled through life before you–they all started out as amateurs, and they got where they were going by making do with what they were given and having the guts to put themselves out there. Follow their example.”

** Not aiming for anything –no commission, no pats on the back, no genuflections–other than to share good work by others.

Twitter Gems…

Cruising my TweetDeck dashboard…

  1. Always get to the dialogue as soon as possible….Nothing puts the reader off more than a great slab of prose at the start. P.G. WODEHOUSE tweeted by Jon Winokur [@AdvicetoWriters]
  2. The Seven Differences Between Professionals and Amateurs by Jeff Goins
  3. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg  tweeted by Jeff Goins [@JeffGoins]
  4. 35 Book Marketing Ideas That Will Sell You MORE Books by Joel Friedlander [@JFbookman]
  5. Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. LOUIS L’AMOUR  tweeted by Jon Winokur [@AdvicetoWriters]

Note to self: Great to spew the wisdom of others. It’s another whole ballgame to follow through.

The 90-Day Rewrite–My Takeaways

My takeaways from The 90-Day Rewrite by Alan Watt, also author of The 90-Day Novel

  1. The instructional heart of the book consists of his 90 ‘letters’ to the reader/rewriter. This approach evoked a more conversational tone to each ‘day’.
  2. Watt gives ‘rewriters’ a short ruminating or writing assignment that reinforces that day’s letter.

Some examples:

Day 46: Today–Write for five minutes beginning with ‘My story is about…’. Surprise yourself and be willing to write the forbidden.

Day 57: Today–Where you choose to reveal information can alter the pace and meaning of your story. Are your story’s revelations placed as effectively as possible?

  1. I like Watt’s Week 1 prescription of creating a new outline.

“If it seems strange to simply be re-outlining something that we have already written, that is not what we are doing. Rather, we are allowing ourselves to imagine the most compelling version of our story, which may contain large swaths of existing material, but also material yet to be written.”

  1. Quote from Day 69 letter: “Ultimately, the decision [on how to divide the novel–chapters, sections, etc.] is an intuitive one. Each story has its own unique way of being read.”

Watch ‘The Kindness Diaries’

I’m keeping this short so you can follow up. Great series that can launch us from the funk of everyday life and the other media we consume.

The episodes, on Netflix, are just over 20 minutes.

It’s based on the book of the same name by Leon Legothetis.

soldier-kindnessWho knows–it might even set us on our own course of kindness.

Perfect photo for Memorial Day…