One of my goals for this year is to complete 25 inspirational books or classic novels. Of course that will involve a lot of reading, and a lot of reading seems to go hand in hand with a lot of losing track of what I learned.
So my newest idea – I’m going to start a notebook or document to list the books I read and what lesson, concept, idea, or overall feeling I walk away with. It’s not exactly a new idea, but it’s something that I’ve never taken the time to do. And I bet a lot of you are thinking the exact same thing.
To give an example of a book that I just completed, I’m going to go with the very popular “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon. This book was a delightful manifesto on creativity that I can imagine has a great appeal to people of my generation. I noticed that many of the thoughts that I had written about on my blog were also discussed in this book, such as my posts on whether all graduates feel like frauds, not rushing creativity, and the myth about being only as good as the last thing you write. It was great to see similar concepts approached from the author’s standpoint.
One piece of advice that I tried to take away from the book was stepping away from my electronics and using my hands to create the content that I wanted. I tried this by writing on paper a lot more, but found that this really slowed down my process. I’m a lot more comfortable writing on a computer than using a pen and paper – and it’s a lot easier to read a computerized font than my pitiful attempts at handwriting. But I do think that the author is on to something when it comes to writing out ideas – things like mind-maps, flow charts, and handwritten outlines are a great way to get the creative process rolling.
So there you have it. I think that after a year of readings I will do an enormous post of lessons that I’ve taken away from the 25 books I’ll read this year. In the meantime, you can check out this unbelievable list of lessons Julien Smith has learned from reading over 200 books. So impressive!
Do you have a place where you keep track of what you’ve learned from your everyday reading? And have you checked out “Steal Like an Artist?”? I highly recommend it!