“Every day is a new deal. Keep workin’ and maybe sump’n’ll turn up.” HArvey Pekar
One of my favorite creative muses, Austin Kleon, has produced another tiny square book with ten rules for how to stay creative in good times and bad. Particularly pertinent since I’m writing this in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. His previous two books, Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work, are both New York Times bestsellers, and I recommend them both.
Even though the book is organized into ten chapters, each is a bit disjointed, nevertheless packed with useful advice. For me, the book reaffirms the activities I’m already doing and encourages me to recommit myself to the ones I’m neglecting. While none of his suggestions or principles are original, Kleon has an engaging way of imbuing each with fresh insights. Topics include:
• Taking one day at a time
• Establishing a daily routine
• Setting your life on airplane mode
• Learning to say “no”
• Working as play
• Making gifts
• Not turning your hobby into work
• Slowing down to draw
• Getting outdoors and taking walks
• Visiting the past
• Being open to change
• Tidying your life
And my favorite: Making lists (see above).