Here’s How Austin Kleon Writes

Here’s How Austin Kleon Writes

Reader Comments (30)

  1. Terrific interview. I do the analog/digital thing, but never realized it, nor did I organize my two workspaces that way. Now I think I can be more efficient (hopefully) and actually take conscious breaks between the two.

    Thanks so much, Austin, for the great nuggets of advice, and Kelton for the insightful interview questions.

    • Absolutely Susan, thank you for tuning into the series. Even for writers who don’t have two distinct workspaces, I think it’s important to simply power down the computer and engage your brain in a different way. Incubation periods, whether you spend them writing in a notebook, or getting some exercise, are important! Cheers.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with Kelton about the person one marries. My husband is amazing. He allows me to take the writers journey, read books, leave the furniture undusted, and gets take-out food on his way home from doing things.

    I am a queen in our castle thanks to him.

  3. Great interview, Kelton.

    I loved Austin’s Steal LIke An Artist and that’s probably the best takeaway I got from his book. The concept of analog desk and digital desk.

    I’m addicted to my IA Writer program on my iPad for writing blog posts and my book projects because it’s a digital representation of a white piece of paper with only the typewriter font that you can’t change or resize. All I can do is cut and paste the words and move them around. So it’s one notch above Woody Allen’s analog typewriter for that and I can email myself the work when it’s done.

    But when I’m writing a song I always feel the need to write the lyrics in my leather bound journal. There’s something about committing pen to paper when I’m in that creative mode that makes your choice of words that much more important. I even like the crossed out verses and crazy arrows I make connecting one line to the next. I guess it’s about figuring out how to choose the right creative tool that allows you to do your best work.

    Thanks for reminding us of Austin’s creative habits.

    • Thanks for dropping into the comments Mark. Steal Like an Artist lives on my desk. I think that for writers especially, sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer, for sure.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed this interview, Kelton. Austin gave some great advice here. Possibly his best tip was to “marry well.”

    I know from experience how true that is.

    Who’s next on the Q&A docket? 🙂

  5. Awesome interview, very motivational to see the thought-process of successful artists.

    Loved the quote, “Writing lets me be a professional reader.” Although I love to write, I love to read more and I feel like this quote is spot on, the two go hand in hand.


  6. Man, this guy sounds like a sarcastic bastard…In a good way 🙂

    Was this a super truncated audio interview? Or was this not recorded….Just curious because I have been interviewing people for my blog and I find the transcriptions so very long…

  7. Great interview! I recommend Austin’s book to my clients and keep it near my desk when I need a shot of encouragement. I love to see authors practice what they preach!

  8. I just love this series. Very inspiring and helps me to trust that there is room for everyone and every approach to writing. However there is one absolute…and that’s write. You just have to sit down regularly and write. Something will happen. That’s true and encouraging!

  9. What a great interview. I wish I had room to fit an analog and digital desk in my study, but might just have to settle for forced retreats to the living room with a notebook and pen instead!

  10. We all read this interviews to get inspired, see what others are doing, seeking for the success formula that will take us off the ground! The true is that we have to look deep in our self! All the answers we try to find answers to are already answered. We just have to shape them in to words.

    Writing is a good method to do that!

  11. I like the definition of creativity: Taking what’s in front you and everybody else and making something new out of it, well said.

  12. Incredible post – thanks for this. I love the quote he gave: “Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating”. Sharing this with my team now! May we all have the courage to practice more creativity daily.

  13. Great interview. It’s always interesting to hear how other writers work. I agree that writing is writing, including commenting on blogs and social media. I love the quotes, too.

  14. Absolutely fantastic interview. Procrastination has always been my achilles heel when it comes to writing. This interview has inspired me in many ways actually. I love the John Cleese quote! It’s holds truth in so many ways: “Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating.”

  15. Fantastic article and review on the ‘Austin Kleon’ methodology. I found the opening lines of the article hilarious as Jobs misquoted Picasso.

    Much like others have mentioned above, I also suffer from writers block.

    The interview is inspiring and exactly the kick in the guts I need to continue with my writing.

    If Kleon can find inspiration from reading obituaries then I have absolutely no excuse for my procrastination.

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