Steal like an artist
Good artists borrow, great artists steal
Writers, founders, fellow muggles. I’m writing to you from the beautiful mountains of Montana. The hiking has my calves sore and this newsletter a week late, but other than that we’re thriving.
Here are 1 tactic, 3 ideas, and 1 resource to help you become a more effective, creative storyteller.
Storytellers have been confined to 16x9 rectangles since 1987. Then, slides were meant to be printed(!).
Journey re-imagines the format to help storytellers shine. It's as if Notion and Google Slides had a baby, injected with AI. Instead of spending hours formatting, you focus on your story.
Journey helps to:
Automagically style your content for the company you’re trying to impress
Write compelling text, find beautiful imagery, and record video content
Give your audience an option to talk to the content with their AI bot!
Join 1000s of forward-thinking storytellers using Journey. Try it free:
A few weeks ago, I read Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist…
But when I was 12, I saw down to write my first book. Eragon sat on the desk next to me as I typed away. This may shock you. My book ended up with dragons, dragon riders, and a big evil bad guy… quite a bit like Eragon.
That’s how to not steal like an artist. Don’t be like 12-year-old me.
But my problem wasn’t getting inspiration from a book.
My problem was getting inspiration from just one book.
After talking with 100s of authors, creators, and other storytellers, I want to share how they ‘Steal Like an Artist:’
“The first step is to decide what to work on. The work you choose needs to have three qualities: it has to be something you have a natural aptitude for, that you have a deep interest in, and that offers scope to do great work.”
When Paul Graham drops an essay, I read it. This one’s quite long. But I can’t recommend it enough.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”
“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”
— Hannah Arendt
A story doesn’t tell you how to think. Instead, it asks new questions. Or old questions in new ways.
I read a lot of books. And I find a ton of them through my friend Alex. He writes a great newsletter all about books.
When I need a new read, he’s the first person I look to. If you’re a reader (or want to build the habit), you’ll love his work too. Check it out.
Want to go deeper on storytelling?
1. If you want a practical way to improve your storywriting in less than 25 minutes daily, check out StoryWork (200+ students).
2. Grab time with me for a 1:1 session on storytelling, newsletters, attracting an audience, or anything else.
3. To sponsor the newsletter, reply to this email for details.
Thanks for reading! Reply any time.
AI Writing and Storytelling
I’ve gone super deep down the AI rabbit hole recently. It can’t think, but damn it can execute (if given the right inputs). If I wrote some about those experiments, would you be interested?