On Sunday, I walked into the bookstore with the mere intention of getting the new editions of the driving theory handbooks; since I passed both my theory tests a few years back on the first attempts but got too distracted to follow up with my practicals, I decided 2013 will be the year I do it, for real. Sure, it’s just a theory test, no biggie, but I actually ended up buying both theory handbooks, basic and final. I managed to convince myself not to buy the exact same Q&A books I already have, just so I could do the questions all over again. Talk about being thorough.
You know all the hoo haa about Fifty Shades of Grey? I considered getting the book, but to begin with, the version I came across at the bookstore was as thick as a dictionary, totally not carry around material, secondly, I figured I won’t get any good out of the book given some of the reviews I had come across, in particular this one and this in detail. I mean, if it makes you think that putting yourself down to hold on to someone who doesn’t treat you right is OKAY, I don’t know if I can agree.
I started reading Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like An Artist” on Sunday night, and I finished the entire book of 140 pages, some of which are filled with visuals, on Monday night. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so sucked in to anything, not to mention, a book. I don’t know what it was, I simply couldn’t put it down, all I wanted to do was read, all night long.
Read deeply, stay open, continue to wonder, Google it!
And then I got really serious about what I was reading, out came my highlighter.
“Not everybody will get it. People will misinterpret you and what you do. They might even call you names. So get comfortable with being misunderstood, disparaged, or ignored – the trick is to be too busy doing your work to care.”
Disparaged, what did it mean? Finally, a word I wasn’t familiar with, I googled it.
That’s how we learned as kids, that’s what our teachers taught us. Carry a notebook with you always, when you come across a word you don’t know, write it down, consult the dictionary, learn a new word or two each day. That’s how we learn, that’s how we keep getting better, that’s how we keep growing, never stop learning. There’s so much out there that we still don’t know, there’s an infinite list of things we still haven’t seen, everything is there waiting to be discovered, and we have to keep exploring the gazillion possibilities life throws at us.
Another thing this book reminded me, is to never give up on your passions. Never stop doing the things you love to do, never stop doing the things that make you happy. Writing, I stopped writing. When I was younger I couldn’t stop writing, I was good at it, at least that’s how it was in school. I always had an edge with language. I loved to write, I wrote poems, stories, more poems. When Friendster had “notes”, I wrote there, a lot. I wrote about life, about things I didn’t understand, things I couldn’t agree with. I had opinions, and I couldn’t keep them to myself. The world intrigued me, it made me want to write. It was interesting to see how varied people’s opinions can get. I got even more intrigued, how could we all be so similar, and yet, so different? I get a rush from writing, being able to relate to others, and for them to be able to relate to me, that’s the icing on the cake.
Writing, I’ve missed writing like that.
I still wonder how different life would be if I studied Mass Communications instead of Hospitality Management. But then again, I’m doing something totally different from what I spent 3 years studying anyway. Everything happens for a reason, we make the choices we make for good reason I’m sure, and there’s no point asking what if, but there’s no harm in wondering from time to time.
While this book provides some really useful guidelines for people trying to get ahead in the creative industry, it doesn’t force anything on you. It provides suggestions, recommendations, rather than hard and fast must dos, which really makes whatever you’re reading more easy to ingest. As Austin writes on the last page,
“Some advice can be a vice. Feel free to take what you can use, and leave the rest. There are no rules.”
I must say, this book has taken me to a different level. It has stirred up tons of arguments in my head, things I’d love to write about, stuff I’d like to discuss or share. I personally cannot stand it when I’m forced to take a particular person’s advice as the ONLY advice. I’ve learnt along the way, and I’ve come to realise that you should never ask someone “What should I do?” because the only person who would really know what to do is yourself. You can ask “What would YOU do?” instead, because when we ask someone for advice, most times we’re really just seeking approval for a possible solution that’s already in our heads. But I’ll save this arguement for another time.Steal Like An Artist is an excellent read, and no this wasn’t meant to be a book review, it’s just something I found worth putting in time to share with anyone who might be interested! :)