Books · creativity · Music

“You’re only as good as your record collection.” ðŸŽ§

The little, yellow, square book Show Your Work has changed they way I think about blogging, processing my ideas, and has even helped me appreciate my music playlists.

One idea it introduces, and my first book snippet, is to embrace collecting.

There’s not as big of a difference between collecting and creating as you might think.

Show Your Work

Great musicians, writers, and artists tend to collect and appreciate other people’s work. “The reading feeds the writing, which feeds the reading,” the book says. Hopefully this approach works for me as I dig into music creation.

Or to put it another way:

You’re only as good as your record collection.

DJ Spooky, via Show Your Work

To that end, here is my ever-growing list of new songs I like, built up gradually over the last few years, thanks to Shazam and a few coffee shops and beer gardens with their own great playlists. As of this writing, this playlist is over 49 hours long and could double as its own radio station.

Don’t hoard indeed. 😆

Beyond music, I can collect ideas much quicker than I can get them out to the world.

Just to keep track of things all these ideas, I started using the same system that NASA uses to manage large projects. 😆 Admittedly, this may be overkill, but I do have a reservoir of about 400 blog ideas filed away so far.

I think the challenge will be to identify the 5% of ideas that I can actually give my attention to and let the rest be. We’ll see if Show Your Work as any wisdom for that conundrum.

To many ideas, not enough time!
Books

It’s time for book snippets âœ„

I’ve been doing super summaries on this blog for a while now. The idea is to condense a great book into a super distilled version that covers the core concepts as quickly as possible. Hopefully the super summary is useful, and if your curiosity is teased enough, then you can read the actual book.

I think it’s a win-win, and these continue to be some of my most popular posts.

But some books simply can’t be super-summarized.

The book Show Your Work has has been sitting on my coffee table taunting me for months. I pick it up and read a bit, absorb whatever nuggets of inspiration I get out of it, and then put it away for a while.

I keep thinking I’ll write up a super-summary on this little 184-page book. I mean, how hard could that be?

Ironically enough, this tiny, square, innocent-looking book is so densely packed with good material that a super summary is nearly impossible. I think I could but the book in half, maybe? But who wants a 92-page summary of a book? 🤔

So I’m starting a new thing here: a book snippet. I’ll take one little concept at a time from a book and post it. And then post a series of excerpts over time for any give book.

This approach fits (so to speak) with my goal of keeping things short. So with that, stay tuned for the first snippet.

This little book defies the super summary.