Weekly Mixed Tape: Steal Like An Artist, Downton Abbey, Facebook Creeping, and More


If you’re reading this, give yourself a hearty slap on the back. Because you’ve made it to Friday.

It’s been some week.

And my guess is that it’ll be some weekend, too.

If you’re like me and hope to write into the weekend, here’s your motivation:


ONE: “Interview with Austin Kleon: Author of Steal Like An Artist”

Jim first alerted me to Austin’s book on artistic genius, and now that it’s in my possession, I plan on pairing it with a mug of coffee this weekend.

This interview gets to the heart of artistic theft (the good kind) and why you should also don a pair of cat burglar gloves.

I plan on stealing a few things from Austin myself.


TWO: Newspaper Blackout

Another project – and bestselling book – of Austin Kleon’s, this type of poetry involves only newspaper and marker. And believe it or not, these pieces read more profoundly than most traditional verse.

This isn’t your grandmother’s kind of poetry. [Although I love that kind of poetry, too.]

Check it out, take a Sharpie marker to your morning newspaper, and share your found poem on Austin’s site.


THREE: “5 Lessons on Writing that I Take from Downton Abbey”

With the second season of Downton Abbey long over, writer Andi Cumbo’s insight is helping me bridge my writing with my desperate pining for season three. There is something so literary about Downton, it leaves me wondering about a new screenwriting hobby.


FOUR: “I Facebook Creep (And So Do You)”

No one’s admitting to anything here.


FIVE: “How to Write a Book: Via Famous Writers One Note at a Time”

Beethoven did it. Hemingway did it. Even George Lucas did it (and probably still does). They all carried notebooks. And it makes sense. After all, you never know when inspiration  will strike, and notebooks hold up longer than restaurant napkins and ink scrawled across the back of your hand.

I never leave home without blank paper, and you probably don’t either, so I think it’s safe to say that there’s a streak of genius in us yet.

Bonus: In this same post, Sarah Cunningham reveals her “How to Write a Book” mini-guide series, free online resources for aspiring authors. She makes this valid point:

Writers need their notes. But they shouldn’t get so caught up in jotting down words and phrases, that they leave behind dictionaries and chicken scratch instead of books.

Sound familiar? Join with me, and leave a little literary solidarity beneath in the comments.


How are you making your weekend count?