Our creative style is the sum of all of the influences in our lives. From birth until the present moment, we’ve been constantly flooded with ideas, perspectives, and stories, and now with social media those ideas are on the extreme ends of the curve, the funniest jokes and the most romantic love stories and the saddest news. Creativity is the output of all of these influences. We take all of the inputs throughout our lives and combine them and put our personal spin on them in order to put out something uniquely creative.
In Steal Like An Artist, Kleon says that we essentially every idea has already been shared in one form or another, and so now new ideas are just other ideas combined and said in different ways by different people. Confidence plays into this because we must realize that in order to make something uniquely our own, we must be willing to express our vulnerabilities and our insecurities in order to create something new or impactful.
I believe the most impactful way to build confidence in something is by doing it consistently. If I’m not confident in my public speaking ability, I can allow that belief to control my actions, or I can take action and practice my public speaking even in front of one or two people consistently. Even in this class, my writing hasn’t always been something I’m proud of, but I want to learn and grow, so I invest time in this class to learn new forms of writing and new ways to communicate effectively.
I love to read. I find that there is so much value in written word, and that we can take an author who may have spent a year, five years, or even ten years thinking about and writing a book, and in a span of six hours we can take all of that knowledge and learn it. I set a goal for myself in 2021 to read one book per week, and so far this year I’ve read eight. Each time I pick up a new book (mainly in the self-improvement space), I realize that I’ve got so much to learn from the author and I look at who recommended it and why this could be impactful for me. Even further, I look at where I can apply the things I’m learning in my life, because one thing I’ve learned is that reading learning without action is meaningless.
When I’m working in sales throughout the week, I bring the knowledge I gain from reading into the calls, and use it as a way to seem more knowledgable around different topics. I try to tie in the reading I’m doing, not only to tie the knowledge into my life, but also to help other’s learn without putting in all the time and effort I did. Making people’s lives more efficient helps me to feel more productive, and so if someone clicks with an idea I share or they bring something they’re struggling with up in our conversation, I’ll always direct them back to the book that I was reading or mentioning, and I hear great followups when people do read the books and connect with their message.
In the book we read, I loved the idea of stealing vs. plagiarizing as an artist. He made a very clear distinction that he isn’t recommending unoriginality or plagiarism, but rather saying that we need to spend the time pulling from tons of different sources and pull what we like, dislike, and is most impactful for others. We share our life experiences, our stories, and make it extremely personal for us, and that brings the creative originality he promotes rather than just taking someone else’s work and putting our name on it.
One thing that I somewhat disagreed with was the idea of involving your body and your hands in your work in a way that wasn’t digital. I’m on the fence about this one, because I do realize that us physically handwriting something is a different feeling than typing something on a computer, but I did want to bring it up because as the world revolves around digital communication, I see this happening less and less. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done as much writing for a longer form book or long articles, but as I sit here writing this blog, I’m glad that I’m not having to handwrite it and then transcribe it onto the computer.
Excited to continue learning from reading inside and outside of this class!