Afterthoughts: Keep Going by Austin Kleon

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Keep Going is a letter to anyone and everyone struggling through a creative challenge. It is filled with 10 ways we can adapt our thinking so that we can better sustain our momentum through difficult patches. It is written in a similar fashion as the author’s previous works, Show Your Work and Steal Like An Artist, featuring spotlighted quotes and sketches which really enhance the vitality of the reading experience.

“‘What next?’ The truly prolific artists I know always have that question answered, because they have figured out a daily practice––a repeatable way of working that insulates them from success, failure, and the chaos of the outside world. They have all identified what they want to spend their time on, and they work at it every day, no matter what. Whether their latest thing is universally rejected, ignored, or acclaimed, they know they’ll still get up tomorrow and do their work.”

My perpetual fear with reading books like these is that I will come to realise that I have gleaned the insights the author is trying to disseminate, but with this there were more than a handful that I found completely novel. Such was the idea of making gifts, forgetting the noun and doing the verb, and everyday is groundhog day. It is not that these concepts are completely new to me, but the way in which Kleon presents them I found to be most resonant as someone pursuing a life of creative work.

“”Any man can fight the battle of just one day,” begins a passage collected in Richmond Walker’s book of meditations for recovering alcoholics, Twenty-Four Hours a Day. “It is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down.”


Highly Recommended. A coffee table staple that promises several re-reads and great long-term value. It’s ideas are timeless and are relevant to anyone who regularly works with solving creative, non-trivial problems.

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