Steal This Book
I read Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist. I guess you could say it's like the poor man's version of Lynda Barry's What It Is. It's not very long, and I think it took me an hour to read it. Although, you don't really read it so much as survey it. Basically, it's some art and some ideas on how to be more creative. It reminded me of a lot of the sort of advice/self-help writing I did when I was blogging for Forbes. Nowadays, that ... genre sort of makes my skin crawl. It seems to be stuff written by people who aren't doing something about why they're not doing it and the product that produces is a thing that pretends to be doing something, even though it really isn't. I didn't really get Kleon's art. I guess it sort of reminded me of another person who does this sort of thing and has been very successful at it. It's like a TED Talk in book form or something. All that said, I like a lot of the ideas in it. The core concept is that nothing is original, so if you're creating something, don't sweat it. I like that because it takes off the heat. I think what I liked best about the book is that it makes the whole creative process seem like no big deal, and that's good to hear because artists takes themselves way too seriously. I think the best part of reading the book isn't really the book at all. It's that if you're reading it, you're thinking about the act of creation, and that's a really important part of creating.