Some of the best advice I had ever received when it comes to writing and creativity in general has come from Austin Kleon, author of Show Your Work! and Steal Like An Artist. I had found his work through Chase Jarvis’ YouTube channel where he had one-on-one talks with inspiring artists, speaking with them about what it is they do and their life in general. If you want something to listen to for an hour or so while doing chores around the house or writing or simply sitting on the couch, I highly recommend you click here and check them out.
Anyway, I found myself rather inspired by the hour-long talk that Austin and Chase had with one another, so I decided to check out the book he had recently published at the time: Steal Like An Artist. As I had recently received a kindle for my birthday, I made sure it was the first book to be downloaded on it. Mind you, I am not an avid reader anymore – I am getting there, I think – but I was able to read this particular book within a few short days.
I know what you are thinking: this kid is advertising this random guy’s book in hopes of dropping enough names to get some sort of notice online, or possibly be paid to say all this.
I promise you, that is not at all the case. Austin Kleon is simply someone that I find extraordinarily inspiring and he is one of the main reasons I have continued on with this blog, despite finding hardship with it in recent times. If it was not for him, this blog would not have transformed in the same ways as it has these past few months. It would either be much different or it would simply not exist at all.
His book has plenty of takeaways from it, but the most beneficial one for me was the idea of doing something small every day, and after a year, you have something much bigger than what you had started with.
This idea can be used with many different hobbies, jobs, etc. If you have hopes of being an author, writing a single page every day for a year ends with you having 365 pages of a potential book; this book could then be published and you could be on your way to the New York Times Best Seller’s List! With a blog, writing one blog post each day will obviously lead to 365 posts on your blog. What’s the benefit of that, you ask? Well, the more you do something, the better you get at it.
If you only go to the gym once a week for an hour, you won’t see the results that you will get if you go to the gym, say, five times a week for an hour each time.
Whenever you plan on doing something, you should not be thinking in the short-term. It is my belief that if you think in the long-run, you will be better off.
Think of it this way: if you start to write a book, begin thinking right then and there what you hope to achieve with it. Yeah, you shouldn’t be thinking that your book will sell a million copies in the first week, but you should at least have hopes of selling ten copies. But even before that, by thinking about writing that book, you should think about how long you want it to take. As I mentioned earlier, if you write just a single page each day, in a year you will have a 365 page book. Continue writing for another year and you have a 730 page book, or a sequel to your first book.
Whenever you go to do something, remember that you should plant an orchard, not just a tree.