In this week’s newsletter: practicing to suck less, throwing out the instructions, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
Practice and Suck Less

Hey y’all,

Well, that was a week. Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing: 

  1. I’ve been practicing a lot of piano lately, but I don’t practice for success... I practice to suck less! I made y’all some free, printable 30-day and 100-day calendars to help you get better at what you want to get better at.
  2. I’m practicing and writing a lot, but still having some trouble reading. Trying to start the year off by thinking in the slow time of trees, so I’m flipping through Designing With Palms, one of my Christmas gifts, at the dinner table and reading The Secret Life of Trees at night before bed. (I thought the first 1/3 of Richard Power’s The Overstory was absolutely brilliant. The rest, well... it wasn’t for me.)
  3. Don’t let people tell you what not to read.
  4. Last week I introduced you to Coconut The Owl. I’m happy to report that Coconut is still living in our palm tree. I will be posting chill videos to TikTok for as long as Coconut is with us.
  5. I prefer my memes short, trashy, and out-of-context — long, self-serious inspirational memes are way better in context.
  6. Live event: This Wednesday I’m chatting about my book Keep Going and how it’s a manual for quarantine with my friends at BookBar in Denver. Not that many folks have signed up yet, so it should be a nice, intimate chat, with plenty of time for questions. Tickets are $14. (Price includes a copy of the book!)
  7. Ear candy: My 2021 playlist already has a mood. If you need something even more chill, try this beatless ambient playlist that Ben Watt uses for yoga and meditation.
  8. Podcast I’m enjoying while making crazy collages out of used fireworks and other stuff: One By Willie, in which folks discuss their favorite Willie Nelson songs. (I suggest starting with Lyle Lovett on “Hello Walls.”)
  9. When playing, sometimes it’s best to throw out the instructions
  10. How much do we tell our kids?
Thanks for reading. This newsletter is free, but not cheap. To show your support, forward it to someone who’d like it, listen to the new audiobook, read my other books, shop for some of my favorite gear (I get a cut), or buy a t-shirt.

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Austin Kleon

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

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