Keep Going

Keep Going book cover


Title: Keep Going
Author: Austin Kleon
Genre: Self-Help
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Pages: 213 pages
Difficulty Level: Easy

Keep Going: Book Review

Keep Going is yet another brilliant and creativity-enhancing book by Austin Kleon. His other book that I read, “Show Your Work,” guides the reader in constructing a better relationship with the author. In Keep Going, it was about building a beautiful relationship with oneself.
In his new book, the author has provided many creativity-stimulating actions to include in our daily schedule and become more productive and efficient creators.
His guidance of having a routine and a planner to having a better hold of the day is a great lesson, providing some fantastic advantages, as the author points out.
When I read the first few pages, I really felt that the author was talking about my concerns personally. He talks about many problems that the people in the creative space have to combat, and I have faced many of them.
And after reading the book, I think many problems can reduce if not omitted.
Being in a creative space is an evergreen process of learning and improving, and with it comes many problems. But this book can provide guides to many of them.
One of his best suggestions in Keep Going is having a Bliss station.
I think many of us could find a great advantage if we find a space with quietness, away from any disturbances, where we could provide our best output.

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You will also find some of the do’s and don’ts in this book on various topics which can prevent you from falling into unwanted problems. Adding such a section is a great thing as I feel, we can learn very much from his experiences and make better decisions.
Without giving away too much about this book, I urge you to follow through this article to know more about the bits and pieces of this book and hopefully read it for yourself and share it with others.

Keep Going: Book Summary in 3 sentences

  1. Keep Going by Austin Kleon is a creativity boosting guide with various suggestions that can be used to keep showing our best work.
  2. Proper utilisation of the time is the key, as mentioned in the book. One who can use his or her time more efficiently and provides most values wins in the long game.
  3. You must learn to rest. Rest is not a privilege but a necessity.

Who Should Read It?

This is a wonderful book for individuals in the creative field who have to think on their toes. Those whose work lies around acting, writing, designing can learn very much from this book. Keep Going can provide wonderful ideas on how to deliver your best work for the long.

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Top 3 Quotes: Keep Going

  • “Relying on craft and routine is a lot less sexy than being an artistic genius. But it is an excellent strategy for not going insane.” —Christoph Niemann”
  • “Yesterday’s over, tomorrow may never come, there’s just today and what you can do with it.”
  • “if you read old books, you get to add all the years the author lived onto your own life.”

I’ve compiled notes on some of the key topics in the book which can give you a better overview of the content you’re going to find in Keep Going.

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Keep Going Notes

1. Everyday is a groundhog day:

  • Begin each day with a fresh perspective. When we keep in mind about only the present day and we try to live it to the best of our ability, we create a life worth living for.
  • Do not add up the pressure of tomorrow and bring up the failure’s of the past. Do your best TODAY.

It is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives men mad. It is remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time.

  • Establish a daily routine: Routine helps you get going even in your bad days. It helps you find time for things. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is net for catching days. When you don’t know what to do next, your routine tells you.
  • Make Lists: List the things you want to do that day and depending upon the priority level arrange them

2. Build A Bliss Station:

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

  • A place of solitude can help your juices flow. You can think much better when you are in silence and low disturbance means you can get more done.
  • Learn How To Say NO: Learn to prioritise your work. Do not get diverted into unimportant activities.

3. Forget The Noun, Do the Verb:

  • Do not be consumed by your title, instead spend time to do what your title actually says. People get lost with what their title says, they forget to do those things that gave them the title in first place.
  • Be invested into the act. Find things that interests you and forget about the world.

4. Make Gifts:

  • Develop hobbies and try not to transform it into a side hustle.
  • Hobbies are meant to relax and soothe you but the economic conditions of today has changed that mentality and made us more money driven.
  • This sometimes backfires, the thing you would do as a hobby now need to be done effectively, better managed and other things that does the opposite for what it meant earlier.

You must be mindful of what the potential impact monetizing your passion could have on your life. You might find that you’re better off with a day job.

5. The Ordinary+ Extra Attention= The Extra Ordinary:

  • Look around yourself and pay attention to things you otherwise would ignore. Pay extra attention to small details and find how you can relate it with your art.

Your attention is one of the most valuable things you possess, which is why everyone wants to steal it from you. First you must protect it, and then you must point it in the right direction.

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6. You Are Allowed To Change Your Mind:

  • You need not go ahead with what you initially planned. Many a times your are not sure about the outcome until you try and fail.
  • Develop the habit of looking your work form the outside perspective to avoid any biasness.
  • Like hearted Vs. Like Minded: Perfer like-hearted people over like-minded as you will be offered with better perspective. You will able to avoid the “Yes Sir” people which can reduce your creativity.

An excerpt from the book: Jacob recommends that if you really want to explore ideas, you should consider hanging out with people who aren’t so much like minded as like-hearted. These are people who are “temperamentally disposed to openness and have habits of listening.” People who are generous, kind, caring, and thoughtful. People who, when you say something,”think about it, rather than just simply react.” People you feel good around.

7. Demons Hate Fresh Air:

  • Focus on your health. Keeping your health optimal should be your primary goal.
  • Exercise, sweat, do things that makes you fit.

8. Plant your Gardens:

  • Creativity has seasons: You cannot perform your best everyday for long stretch without a period of rest or recovery.
  • Find out about your own creativity cycle and work accordingly. Be patient during the resting phase to perform best in your creative phase.

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