Welcome to The Writer’s Refuge. Thanks for visiting or revisiting. If you’re new to this blog, take a look around. If you click on “Why Writers Read This Blog” at right, you’ll discover that it is designed to encourage writers to chase their dreams no matter where you are on your path to publication.
Here you will find advice, encouragement, pithy quotes, ideas, and tips from other published writers. And so, I often recommend books that have profoundly influenced me and taken both my writing, and my writing routine, up a notch. Most importantly, I recommend books that I trust will influence you and your work. For example, I just read Austin Kleon’s New York Times Bestseller Steal Like An Artist, 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. Great book! Very inspirational. Powerfully motivating. And refreshingly different from anything out there.
Why is it different? Kleon bills himself as, “a writer that draws.” Thus, his books are quick reads that are chock full of his creative line drawings that brilliantly illustrate his main points. What about his writing? Crisp, clean, creative and poignant. I finished reading this book in less than two hours, pondered his suggestions for a week, read it again, and then took copious notes in my journal so I could infuse his ideas into my writing routine.
The premise of the book is simple: all great artists essentially steal ideas from each other, hitchhike on those ideas, expand them, and then turn them into something better. Something unique. Something their own. Kleon recommends studying one artist or writer you really love, and then learn everything you can about them and their influences. Kleon says, “The great thing about dead or remote masters is that they can’t refuse you as an apprentice. You can learn whatever you want from them. They left their lesson plans in their work.”
Steal Like An Artist is packed with great gems to chew on—and keep chewing on. I’ll leave you with just one thought vital to me as I battle for more writing time daily since my day job devours the clock.
Kleon says, “The worst thing a day job does is take time away from you, but it makes up for that by giving you a daily routine in which you can schedule a regular time for your creative pursuits. Establishing and keeping a routine can be even more important than having a lot of time.”
So true. This helped change my perspective and I put this thought to work by writing with a vengeance every Saturday morning from nine till noon at my local Barnes & Noble bookstore café. As a result, I have cranked out more articles, began revising an old novel, advanced a new novel, and mapped out where I want to take my writing career in 2016 and 2017. This is crucial time for me because it is a scheduled routine for my creative pursuits.
So, need a quick shot of inspiration? Want to feel like the artist you are? Pick up Austin Kleon’s easy read, Steal Like An Artist or visit his website (www.austinkleon.com) and subscribe to his free weekly newsletter on creativity. It’s working for me, maybe it will help you too.
(For another blog post on the subject of finding more time to write, type “Darkness” in the search box at right.)