Keep Going by Austin Kleon: Summary and Notes

How to design a system to be creative every day and keep moving on to the next project (regardless of success or failure)

Dan Silvestre

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“Creativity is about connections, and connections are not made by siloing everything off into its own space. New ideas are formed by interesting juxtapositions, and interesting juxtapositions happen when things are out of place.”

Rating: 8/10

Related: Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work, The War of Art, Ignore Everybody, The Practice, The Creative Habit

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Keep Going Short Summary

The work of a creative person is never finished. Instead of having a finish line, it’s more like a loop, in which you keep coming back to a new starting point after every project. In Keep Going, Austin Kleon writes about designing a system to be creative every day and keep moving on to the next project, regardless of success or failure.

1. Every Day is Ground Hog Day

The creative life is not linear. It’s more like a loop, or a spiral, in which you keep coming back to a new starting point after every project. No matter how successful you get, no matter what level of achievement you reach, you will never really “arrive.” Other than death, there is no finish line or retirement for the creative person.

The best thing you can do if you want to make art is to pretend you’re starring in your own remake of Groundhog Day: Yesterday’s over, tomorrow may never come, there’s just today and what you can do with it.

A daily routine will get you through the day and help you make the most of it.

There is no perfect, universal routine for creative work. To establish your own routine, you have to spend some time observing your days and your moods:

  • Are you an early riser or a night owl?
  • Are there silly rituals or superstitions that get you in a creative

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Dan Silvestre

Performance coach helping leaders get the right things done with less effort than anything they've tried before. Join 20k+ readers: newsletter.dansilvestre.com