Curation Friday: Austin Kleon gems…

inbox internet overload

I confess to allowing my inboxes to be overloaded with quality resources that I don’t consistently pursue. Not so with Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletters…

Here are two Austin Kleon items that I vouch for:

1. Working On It [5 Quick Thoughts on Writing]

2. How to Keep Going [Take time to watch his 26-minute talk OR, if you’re pressed for time, lock in his list of ten tips and bookmark the page for a later viewing.

Two of my favorites:
The ordinary + extra attention = extraordinary.
Build a ‘bliss station’. [borrowed from Joseph Campbell]
Quote from Austin: “Airplane mode is not just a setting on your phone; it can be a way of life.”

Another of his tips: You are allowed to change your mind. Well, here goes…I was going to add a third A. Kleon gem, but other commitments arose and I just plain wanted this out in the world, so I’m changing my mind and sharing only two. Thanks, Austin, for the license to do so!

And believe me, these two items are value-packed. So, turn on Airplane Mode and enjoy.

Today’s theme: Disappointment

 

thumbs down disappointment

I’m disappointed that I haven’t yet finished the 500-Word Challenge because I promised myself a nice little reward once I post on January 31. Previous tolerant [Sympathetic? Long-suffering? Now homicidal?] readers of some of my –happy place alert!–Pulitzer-winning posts will probably guess what the reward is–something techy.

Looking through the newspaper, I am disappointed that no one has offered me a gold toilet. Then again I’d probably use it as a planter box–planter bowl, actually.

I’m disappointed that I was not invited to play in the NBA All-Star Game.

Then again I would probably stop play and start haranguing about too many fouls allowed, too many timeouts, too much showboating, too much ‘look at me’, too many mad-dog staredowns, too much chest-pounding… well there you go, you get the picture. In front of all those adoring fans occasionally looking up from their phones, it would not be pretty.

I’m disappointed that Canada has not let me into its psychic airspace. Let me explain: Sometimes, things here in the US get a little hinky. I’m thinking those same annoying items will at least be relegated to page 2 in Canada. [A Canadian friend has shot down that scenario, but I’m keeping the dream alive.]

I picture myself camped out in any one of the many Victoria, B.C. shops where they take their coffee and baked goods seriously and those nice, nice people are too polite to suggest that my sleeping bag and tent are infringing on the comfort of other patrons.

See? That psychic teleportation thing is working already…

Anyway, I applied at the psychic border crossing and was refused. They said something about their being overrun with similar requests. I even asked if someone could psychically sponsor me and, with downcast eyes, a shake of the head, and an index finger on speed-dial, they apologized that they can’t even issue day-passes.

I’m disappointed that I don’t have a DVR that permanently vaporizes mention of murderous heads of state,  as well as listings of specific TV shows, celebrities, non-celebrities, and media hacks.

I’m disappointed that there isn’t a truly ‘smart’ TV that rubs out all bottom-of-screen crawls spewing repeatedly ‘breaking news’ and spring training baseball scores [all preseason game results, actually]. Yes, yes, I know, most TVs allow you to zoom and thus block out the crawls, but that ain’t the same. I want a TV that essentially gives me control of the networks. [Yep, drifting into Dr. Evil territory. My apologies to non-viewers of Austin Powers–Not a fanboy, but the character seemed to fit.]

While we’re on the topic of Austins…

I’m disappointed that I’m not as productive as Austin Kleon, though every time I open one of his books [My favorite is Show Your Work], I’m hit with a surge of inspiration.

I’m disappointed there isn’t more January sun where I live–to the point that I actually watch golf on TV just so I can see non-gray skies and that big bright thing that helps make the skies non-gray.

I’m disappointed that I cheated a bit on this post–I used Google Docs voice typing for the first 100 words.

Plea for understanding: My hands were full [i.e. balancing coffee and raisin toast from The Bread Board in Falls City, OR–yes, yes, shameless promotion. Only benefit? A few extra words toward challenge-completion…talk about shameless.

On the upside, I’ve reacged 500 words and have risen above my  disappointment to keep the auto-keyboarded words anyway.

Such courage and fortitude in the face of potential virulent backlash.

Keep livin’ the dream…

Writers Horoscope December 31: A familiar question wells up…

Maybe you took Austin Kleon’s 30-Day Challenge. And you nailed it.

And then that question: What’s next?

Consider this thought from Ian Svenonius, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group:

You will never know exactly what you must do, it will never be enough… no matter what change you achieve, you will most likely see no dividend from it. And even after you have achieved greatness, the [tiny number of people] who even noticed will ask, ‘What next?’” **

And so the question: What next?

boy-on inner tube in ocean

This is not to dismiss what you might have accomplished in the last month…or year…or decade. Or to evoke dissatisfaction.

Instead, use the question as a prod to pursue new projects, skills, friends.

Or maybe I’m just nudging myself in that direction.

Either way, have an adventurous–and fulfilling–2018.

 


**got Svenonius quote from a blog post by Austin Kleon

Note: The link for Svenonius’s book is an affiliate link. It doesn’t raise the price on the book, but it will bring me a very small amount of money.

Writers Horoscope December 3: You experience déjà vu.

Courtesy of me.

30-day-challenge with watermark

I’m going with three projects to finish in December.

1. An online mini-course on ‘writing to learn’.

2. The Eclectic’s Journal

3. Leaning toward the mundane, simply put: Car in the garage by January, 2018. [Granted, it’s not even close to ‘hoarder’s condition’, but really, it’s been 16 years since a car has actually fit in the garage at this house.]

I’ll once again be using Austin Kleon’s 30-Day Challenge–Every day I will:  form to keep me focused.

And this time, I’m slapping it on the wall beside my ‘Habit-Stacking’ chart.

Habit Stacking Screenshot

**

The Habit Stacking link is an affiliate link. It doesn’t raise the price on the $3.99 book and it might make me a quarter, if that much.

 

 

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 jrmays.com.]

 

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.

Using an image and video for my post today…

Thought I would try some different post formats. I used the mindmapping software Inspiration today. Below is an image file of what I wanted to communicate to you.

Below the image is a video demonstrating a few of Inspiration‘s features. [Reminder: I’m not trying to sell anything–just sharing what I like to experiment with.]

 

inspirations-for-writing-2

 

The video is seven minutes long, so feel free to fast-forward at your convenience! Will work on my paring-down skills, I promise.