1-Sentence-Summary: Keep Going teaches us how to persist in creative work when our brain wants to take a million different paths, showing us how to harness our brain power in moments of innovation as well as tediousness.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Throughout time, creativity is something that accompanied our development as humans. Without it, our mind couldn’t develop properly and humanity couldn’t have discovered all the remarkable things we know today. On a smaller scale, everybody uses creativity in their personal lives, one way or another. Some people rely on it with their professions as well.
Therefore, when our mind catches on a negative slope, our creative being suffers. After all, it’s pretty tough to come up with concepts and play with ideas if your mind isn’t in the right place. Still, everybody has good and bad days, so Keep Going by Austin Kleon addresses ways to fix issues related to creativity and keep innovating even in times of hardship. The book addresses ways to make your creativity flourish and find ways to be creative and never give up on your work.
Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:
- Establish a daily routine by finding what works best for your creative self.
- Creating a Bliss Station can help you prepare for work both mentally and physically.
- Protect your creativity by staying organized, napping, and avoid following trends always.
Now, let’s take each lesson one by one and explore the main ideas each section has to offer!
Lesson 1: Find whatever floats your boat, and add that to your daily routine to set the mood for work.
Everybody functions in a different way, and when it comes to work, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Just like one person is good at math, while the other is good at arts, we all have different stimuli that get us motivated and ready to work, and that’s what everything is about when it comes to preparing your mind and body for something that requires creative thinking. For example, the famous German poet Goethe used to smell rotten apples before getting into his writing.
The lesson here is: find whatever floats your boat, and add it into your daily routine to set the mood for work. Now, about the daily ritual routine, schedule, or however you want to call it – you need that! If you feel like timing your day is something that will take your freedom away, think again. How much time do you spend procrastinating, or thinking about the amount of work you have to do, and how much time do you spend actually working?
Scheduling helps you set the time frame for work, while keeping work away from your free time. All you have to do is find the right time for you, such as early in the morning before everyone wakes up, late at night, or perhaps during the day in a coffee shop. Moreover, find a thing that puts you in the mood for work. It could be making a coffee, putting on a playlist, or stretching for fifteen minutes. Whatever works best for you is what you’ll want to add to your schedule before work time, so that you prepare your mind and body for the creative process.
Lesson 2: Set up a Bliss Station to focus on your work better.
Bliss Station is a concept developed by the famous writer Joseph Campbell, and it implies setting up a work spot after your own taste. Building up a creative space allows you to retreat into a safe space where your creative being can express itself without being disturbed. Therefore, it’s particularly important to embrace your Bliss Station as something sacred, where nothing can interrupt your work.
Start from an empty room, a garage, or if you don’t possess such a large space, grab a spot at any table in your house and make it your own. Your Bliss Station doesn’t necessarily have to be a place in your house. There’s many freelancers working from coffee shops or social pubs. Or even better, turn your Bliss Station into a day or time of the day, instead of thinking about it as a certain location, especially if you don’t have access to a physical space. Therefore, pick a time interval where you’re home alone, or when you get a chance to enjoy the peace and quiet, and that’s your Bliss Station!
To fully reap the benefits of this concept, you’ll have to take care of your Bliss Station. No disturbances allowed means getting rid of all factors that could interfere with your working time. You can try leaving your phone in airplane mode, and recreate the environment of a plane. During a fight, there’s no outside factors that can affect you, such as news, notifications, social media, etc. You get plenty of time on your hands to work or simply think about your life. Essentially, this is what your station is for, so give the airplane mode a try!
Lesson 3: Declutter your space, nap more, and stay authentic to your art instead of chasing profits.
So far, we’ve discussed the importance of creating a schedule, putting your mind to work, creating a Bliss Station, and filtering all potential distractions out. Now, let’s delve into why staying organized, napping, and avoiding prioritizing profits over art is essential to make your creative self thrive. First thing first, tidying up your station has a much larger impact than just the appearance.
A decluttered space makes everything look fresh, organized, and sets the mood for work. Therefore, make sure to properly clean and tidy up your space right away! Now, about napping. Many artists, scientists, and researchers worldwide agree on the tremendous benefits of napping. Just a few minutes of napping can wash away toxins from your brain and make room for new ideas to form and connect!
Lastly, be careful when it comes to monetizing your work. Not all that you create has to end up in profits, especially when it comes at the cost of you following trends and popular ideas just for the sake of money, instead of keeping your authentic self thriving. At the end of the day, even if you’re a professional relying on creativity for an income, you’ll find more joy in exploring subjects you’re passionate about, and people love to see work made out of passion. And if you find that you’re in a phase where you don’t feel appreciated enough, try gifting your work!
Keep Going Review
Keep Going is full of valuable tips and tricks on how to keep creating even when you don’t feel like it. If you struggle with working on your art every day, monetizing your work, or are stuck in a creative rut, this book is for you!
Who would I recommend our Keep Going summary to?
The 27-year-old journalist who feels like they need to better organize their work life, the 30-year-old writer who is struggling with writer’s block, and anyone who feels burned out and wants to turn their work life around.
Last Updated on February 20, 2023