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Staying Creative with Austin Kleon

Episode 277
Get out of your creative slump with this advice from best-selling author Austin Kleon.

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“Attention is the engine that art runs on and it’s the very thing the world wants to steal from you.” – Austin Kleon

Do you ever have days where you’re just not feeling it? Where every single line you write feels like a slog and you don’t have an ounce of creative inspiration left? Days when you think, “If I have to write or edit one more episode description, I’m going to start screaming”?

Well, author Austin Kleon is here to show you how to put an end to your creative slumps, once and for all.

Austin is a New York Times-bestselling author. His most recent book, Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad, goes into Austin’s top 10 lessons for how creatives can avoid slumps and keep their creative juices flowing (even when it feels like they’ve run out).

In this episode, Chad and Austin go in-depth on each of Austin’s 10 methods for maintaining creativity. They cover everything from why you need to program downtime into your workday to how to (effectively) procrastinate.

If you like their discussion, check out Austin’s other books Show Your Work! and the New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.

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Quotes by Austin:

6:16 – “What looks like downtime to others is an incubation time. It’s time where you’re letting things stew in the background and you’re open and receptive to what’s around you.”

6:51 – “There are periods of idleness in my life but I’m always working. It’s kind of a 24/7 thing. The ideas come when they come.”

9:09 – “I really believe in taking a daily walk.”

10:31 – “I happen to be an extroverted writer. So being on the road for me is really valuable because I get to interact with people face to face and hear what their problems are and what they are interested in and how my work is resonating with them.”

14:06 – “It’s best for a creative person to approach things on a day to day basis, to have some sort of daily practice, to not worry too much about what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow but to really focus on the day, time, energy and space you have right now.”

19:52 – “If you focus on the process and not the product, then that will take you somewhere further and far more interesting.”

27:33 – “Attention is the engine that art really runs on and it’s the very thing the world wants to steal from you.”


“I make stuff up in the morning and I sell it in the afternoon.”- John Waters

Groundhog Day

Joseph Campbell

The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World

Mystery and Manners


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