Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review - Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

“The question every young writer at some point asks is: “What should I write?” And the standard answer is, “Write what you know.” This advice always leads to terrible stories in which nothing interesting happens. We make art because we like art. We’re drawn to certain kinds of work because we’re inspired by people doing that work. All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.”  
from Steal Like An Artist

With all the furor about plagiarism these days, a lot of subsequent questions about creativity have surfaced. Should we try not to be influenced by what we’ve read/seen/heard? Isn’t that why we seek out all these good things in the first place? So that working together, they can form our thoughts and vision of the world? And how can we escape having what we love come out in our writing—or in any other of our endeavors? Is that even possible?

Austin Kleon approaches all these questions and more with delightful vigor. To quote: “You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes…somehow get a glimpse into their minds…to internalize their way of looking at the world.” 

It’s amazing to see some of the famous people he quotes throughout (musicians, painters, filmmakers, authors, sports stars, etc.) while his down-to-earth approach for living creatively is excellent, as he points out good reasons for how and why it should organically tie together with the rest of our life.

And in reality, in the end—whether writing books or blog posts or song lyrics or screenplays—whether sketching on scrap paper or painting a masterpiece—whether changing out a load of family laundry or scrubbing floors or washing dishes for the umpteenth time—everyone is called to live as an artist: seriously, diligently, and creatively.

Heidi Peterson is a lover of wide-spreading land, summer dust, white pounding waterfalls, and mountain tops; also of good dark coffee and rich stories. Most of all she's a lover of the One who is the Word, the Word made flesh. You can visit her additional blog (where she shares more about books, movies, and further marvels of life) at: Along the Brandywine.

Visit and contact at: Sharing the Journey // Along the Brandywine // ladyofanorien(at)gmail(dot)com


  1. I've heard about this book many times and I really want to read it! My library doesn't have it, though. :( Would it be worth buying?

    1. Natalie,
      Oh, good! And I might suggest to try putting in a purchase request at your library. Sometimes they're really nice about considering a title---especially as this one's a New York Times bestseller.

    2. Thank you! That's a great idea! :) I'll definitely try that.

  2. I really like this book too! I like flipping it open at random for a quick hit of creative inspiration, though I've read it all the way through too. I'm glad I have my own copy, and it's only $7 on both Amazon and right now. right now.

    1. Hamlette,
      Most excellent! :) Yes, I like flipping through it periodically for a good reminder here and there. And thanks for the heads up!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...