|from SHOW YOUR WORK by Austin Kleon
It was inspired by one of the books I'm reading right now, Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. I loved his earlier book, Steal Like An Artist, and knew that I had to have his at-that-time-upcoming new book.
I've read bits here and there. My reading time has been more focused on Othello (preparing to interpret the play) and another writing book in progress, and Ariel Gore's new memoir, The End of Eve - which I highly recommend. Ariel's book is a well crafted, tight story which grabs you on the first page and takes you on a wonderful ride through the on and off caring of her mother as she dies from lung cancer (I know - those words "wonderful" and "dies" and "lung cancer" don't belong together - but she does it) and a breakup and raising a young child. Read it! And I was also reading Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston - the first of her books I've read and I like it.
Today I had some time and Show Your Work was on the top of the "things to do" I'd brought with me. I opened the book and what I read connected. It was not a stretch to make it fit with a conversation with my partner last night. It was a perfect fit. So I read a bunch. Then I went back to the beginning of the book and started over with page one. And I read. I read every chance I had today and made mental notes and quoted him in tweets and in a couple of emails to my partner.
I'm not ready to announce what my project is, yet. I have learned to think it through first, if in doubt. And Kleon says in this book that, if there is doubt, to put it away and give yourself 24 hours. Which is what I'm going to do. I may run it past my writing group Friday night - to see what they think of it.
But I have energy and excitement about doing this thing. Also a little bit of fear; but in a good way - in a "this is exciting and scary and positive" way.
It is about writing.
And it is about "showing your work." My work.
I will get back to you if I still think it's a good idea on Friday night.