I read this book twice last year and just re-read it again in anticipation of Austin Kleon’s latest book, Keep Going. I definitely just carried it around in my bag for months. I have a lot of great notes on this book, and I’ll share them when I get the chance, but I wanted to go ahead and get this post up.
UPDATE: READING NOTES
Whenever you’re at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself, “What would make a better story?” (p. 47)
This same principle applies not only to your life and career, as Kleon suggests, but also to other creative/storytelling contexts. In my experience, I have used it mostly for improv comedy scenes and playing Dungeons and Dragons. If you’re given the option of more than one move, ask yourself, “What would be interesting and fun?” Then do that. It took me a long time to accept this in Dungeons and Dragons, and I’m still working on accepting it in my life and career.
…do the work you want to see done. (p. 48)
Kleon comes back to this idea in his later work – if the book you need doesn’t exist, write it (see Keep Going). For me, it applies beautifully in web development, where you sometimes see it referred to as dogfooding, using your own product, or selfdogfooding, using your own creation on your personal site. Kleon articulates the direction I think this should come from – not create the thing THEN use it, but identify your need and then meet it.
You need to find a way to bring your body into your work. (p. 54)
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, as someone who has spent most of her life feeling like a disembodied head. It’s coming up a lot in my work on information literacy and cosplay, and I’m interested ot see where it takes me.
DON’T THROW ANY OF YOURSELF AWAY. p. 68
This is my biggest life lesson that I’m re-learning all the time, and it’s also why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite thing. I want to talk about it a lot more, and I will, but probably not right here, right now.
Secret of the Internet:
STEP 1 Wonder at something.
STEP 2 Invite others to wonder with you. (p. 81)
This is kind of my whole deal here at kimberlyhirsh.com and also in life.
Whenever I’ve become lost over the years, I just look at my website and ask myself, “What can I fill this with?” (p. 82)
If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room. (p. 104)
This connects beautifully with Kleon’s next book, Show Your Work…