If you have an hour to kill, I had a nice chat with Srinivas Rao on his Unmistakable Creative podcast. Srinivas said listeners had been requesting me for a while, so I was more than happy to
disappoint them be invited.
Among the many topics we discussed: why I found my best work after I left school and what one should to do with an audience once they show up.
When you discover a new-to-you piece of culture that you want to investigate, say, a new artist or a TV show, it can be hard to know where to start.
Most of us jump on Wikipedia and go from there, but these days I like to head over to Twitter.
I read 70+ books this year, a new personal record. If you’re interested in reading more, here’s what I recommend:
- Throw your phone in the ocean. (Or, keep it in airplane mode.)
- Carry a book with you at all times.
- Have another book ready before you finish the one you’re reading. (Make a stack of books to-read or load up your eReader.)
- If you aren’t enjoying a book or learning from it, stop reading it immediately. (Flinging it across the room helps give closure.)
- Schedule 1 hour of non-fiction reading during the day. (Commutes, lunch breaks, and any contained period of idle time work well.)
- Go to bed 1 hour early and read fiction. (It will help you sleep.)
- Keep a reading log and share your favorite books with others. (They will send you even more books to read.)
If you liked this post, you’ll like my books.
Above: My reading desk, designed to resemble a library study carrel.
In no particular order:
- Reading a book instead of looking at my phone.
- Not finishing books I didn’t like.
- Going for a three-mile walk every morning with my wife and son.
- Fela Kuti.
- Holding office hours instead of answering every email. (Most questions can be boiled down.) (Don’t ask.)
- The opposite of schadenfreude.
- Joan Didion on self-respect.
- Wendell Berry on divorce and putting things back together again.
- Discovering P.G. Wodehouse. Snorting and snickering and laughing out loud through Right Ho, Jeeves.
- Losing 25 pounds on VB6 and Isa Does It.
- Reading old horror novels, like Dracula and Frankenstein.
- Going to the local comic book shop to buy Saga.
- Getting huge comic book series from the library. Y: The Last Man. The Sandman.
- Signing books at BookPeople.
- Interviewing Joshua Wolf Shenk about his book, Powers of Two. Thinking about creative duos and unsung partners.
- Watching massive amounts of TV with my wife after putting the kid to bed. The Americans. Justified. Transparent. The Good Wife. Bob’s Burgers. Going Deep With David Rees. Sherlock. Game of Thrones. True Detective. Nashville. Mad Men. Masters of Sex. Hannibal. An Idiot Abroad.
- Paul Zollo’s Songwriters on Songwriting.
- Please Kill Me: The Uncensored History of Punk.
- Steve Albini on releasing art like a bird or a fart.
- Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love.
- Antonio Sanchez’s drum kit soundtrack to Birdman.
- Learning how to make an awesome paper airplane.
- Flying to San Francisco in the morning to see David Hockney’s show at the De Young and then flying home that night.
- Steal Like An Artist on ESPN. (And in the funny pages.)
- Seeing Magritte shows in three cities: at the MoMA in NYC, at the Menil in Houston, and at the Magritte museum in Brussels.