Monday, December 15, 2014

The Art of Asking

I've been reading Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking.  The book was gifted to me by one of the regular customers at my day job.  It came as a pleasant surprise and I've been enjoying the book enormously.
Although primarily as expansion of her TED speech, Amanda Palmer includes a lot of autobiographical detail in the book.  And although I don't think of myself as an artist, a lot of what Ms. Palmer writes and shares has resonated with me.
One of the things she writes about is the three types of artists.  There are the collectors, who take the greatest pleasure in amassing the experiences that they later use in the creation of their art.  There are the connectors, the people who take those experiences and connect them, weaving them into story or song or street performance.  And then, there are the sharers, those artists who get off on sharing their creation with the world.
Miss Palmer firmly states that she is a sharer.  That connection with her audience, her fans, the public in general is her particular bliss.
I think, in my case, I'm the connector type of artist.  I like the make things: stories, pictures, whatever. That's what gives me the greatest pleasure.  I've been doing it for decades, for all my life, in fact. 
One of my earliest memories is sitting on the back steps of my childhood home and telling myself stories. Weaving a vast fantastical story in my head about winged people in outer space just for my own amusement.  I never wrote it down, I never told it to anyone before this and it didn't matter if I did it or not.  I was happy just telling the story to myself.
Connecting the dots, weaving the story is what gives me the rush. Sharing it with the world? Not so much.  As for collecting the elements of story? Well, for me at least, that just sort of happens.
So what does any of this have to do with The Art of Asking?
It's a good book.
If you're a creative type, or even if you're not, I'd say go out and pick up a copy.
Maybe it'll make you see that you aren't as alone as you thought. That those midnight thoughts we've had aren't unique to us.
And maybe, if enough people read it and get it, we can put the fucking Fraud Squad out of business.

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