“If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.” –Austin Kleon in Steal Like an Artist
Since I have a problem over-buying books (or is it a problem?), I purchased this one without much thought. I didn’t expect this small text to inspire me to create this website and treat myself as a professional, but here we are. In it Kleon writes that a good artist steals from so many places that the material becomes something only they could create. He inspires his readers to do the same (both in the book and in the work he creates).
I know I’ve stolen many things over the years, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes knowing full well that I was restating an I idea I’d heard from some half-remembered piece. It’s impossible to be entirely original. As Kleon points out, “nothing comes from nowhere.” So, I decided to thank all my creative influences (and there really are so many) by creating this page. It’s where I provide material I want you to steal (in the artistic sense). I provide you with book recommendations, writing prompts, and general ideas I think are worth sharing. I encourage you to take them and use them as you will.
Go ahead and read, write, or create something only you can.
Think of your favorite character from a movie, book, show, or wherever else. What makes them stand out? Most of the time, we use vague terms like “believable,” “realistic,” or “down to earth” to talk about why we like the … Continue reading
The thing about setting is that it’s often overlooked, but can be vitally important. It can help your readers to suspend their disbelief for the entirety of a story even when there’s something magical in it. (And I’m not talking about … Continue reading
If you think you’re not a fan of romance, I’ve been there. Who doesn’t (initially, and incorrectly) think that romance books are cliche with paper cutout characters you think you’ve seen in a rom-com at some point in your life? … Continue reading
We all have fundamental moments we’ve lived through that would have changed the outcome of our lives had they gone differently. I’m not saying that they have to be moments we’ve regretted. The memories that shaped us into who we … Continue reading
It’s been the year of reading YA Fantasy for me, partly for fun and partly for research on my own writing endeavors. There’s just something about jumping into a fantasy world created from someone’s imagination. It transports me across space … Continue reading
Many books have a sub-plot love story built into the drama. Where the main character is struggling with action and maintaining the balance of the world, a love interest can soften the threats and help keep a character sane. That … Continue reading
People use different methods to (force themselves to) write. We all have to find a way that works for us (be it focusing on genre, character, plot, or setting a timer and not moving from your chair until you have something … Continue reading
I’ve been avoiding adding a new book recommendation page because I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to lately. Again, I can’t make up excuses because it’s been my own fault that I haven’t been able to get … Continue reading
Obviously I haven’t been keeping up with my website the last few weeks. Although it’s not a very good excuse, it’s because I have been out of the country. I was fortunate enough to travel to the land of hobbits in … Continue reading
Have you ever read a book and thought something along the lines of “I wish I could do that” or “that’s such a creative idea, I’ll never be able to create something as good?” I certainly have. And sometimes it’s … Continue reading