In this week’s newsletter: what to do when every day’s the same, the history of collage, ear and eye candy, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
Every day is Groundhog Day

Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. February 2nd was pretty weird now that every day really is like Groundhog Day. (I like Clayton’s campaign to replace it with Capybara Spa Day.)
  2. Because February is a clean four weeks long (although, considering the week I had, “clean” is not the word I would use anymore) I’ve been thinking a lot about calendars and the trouble with months.
  3. A reader recommended I check out Brian Doyle, so I picked up his posthumous collection, One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder. It’s really good. I’ve been reading a handful of essays each night. If you’re new to his work, try his ode to the heart, “Joyas Voladoras,” or “The Greatest Nature Essay Ever.” There’s a big archive of his at The American Scholar. (Thanks, Cate!)
  4. Though people often think of it as a 20th century invention, it’s worth noting that the history of collage goes back several hundred years.
  5. I got a couple of blank playing card decks and made one of them into a game of Five Card Nancy. (Fun to play with the kids.)
  6. Ear candy: 5 minutes that will make you love string quartets. (I love string quartets, and they’re often the first things I listen to when I find a new composer. You cannot go wrong with Beethoven’s late quartets.) 
  7. Eye candy: If you liked Derek DelGaudio’s In and Of Itself, here’s a list of 7 other things to watch.
  8. I hope you won’t need this any time soon, but if you do: How to write an obituary. (I wrote my first obituary last year.)
  9. RIP Duke Bootee, who had some solid advice: “Figure out a way to take care of yourself, legal. Find somebody you can stand that can stand you. Pay your taxes. Take care of your teeth.”
  10. Remember: whether you’re taking photos or writing in your diary, what you think is boring now may be interesting in the future.
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PS. I love seeing photos of finished “Practice and Suck Less” challenges. If you want one, we have 28-day, 30-day, and 100-day variations! (Thanks, Marc!!)
finished practice and suck less challenge
Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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