Monday, January 16, 2012

Use your hands!!!

This post by Austin Kleon is wonderful.  See his website at

Use your hands

4. Use your hands.

My favorite cartoonist, Lynda Barry, she has this saying: “In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits! Your hands are the original digital devices.”
When I was in creative writing workshops in college, all manuscripts had to be in double-spaced, Times New Roman font. And my stuff was just terrible. It wasn’t until I started making writing with my hands that writing became fun and my work started to improve.
The more I stay away from the computer, the better my ideas get. Microsoft Word is my enemy. I use it all the time at work. I try to stay away from it the rest of my life.
I think the more that writing is made into a physical process, the better it is. You can feel the ink on paper. You can spread writing all over your desk and sort through it. You can lay it all out where you can look at it.
People ask me why I don’t develop an iPhone or iPad Newspaper Blackout app, and I tell them  because I think there is magic in feeling the newsprint in your hand and the words disappearing under that marker line. A lot of your senses are engaged–even the smell of the fumes add to the experience.
Elvis dancing
Art that only comes from the head isn’t any good. Watch any good musician and you’ll see what I mean.
When I’m making the poems, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like play.
So my advice is to find a way to bring your body into your work. Draw on the walls. Stand up when you’re working. Spread things around the table.
Use your hands.

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