This small book is packed with wise observations that I've found to be personally true but hadn't articulated as nicely as the author. Here are just two:
Creativity is subtraction. I've written multiple times about why you should think about joining blog hops, submitting to magazines, or entering contests. All those events have limits, which actually stretches, not hinders, your creativity. It seems counterintuitive. Would having all possibilities feel limitless and free? For me, it's almost paralyzing to have too many choices. I always do better when I have a limit whether it's a word count or a certain color palette.
Practice productive procrastination. This is another concept that I do all the time, but didn't realize had a name. It's the reason that I do so well working for myself. This week, for example, I'm editing magazine project files (the winter issue of Jewelry Stringing), reviewing project illustrations for a book I'm editing, working on Etsy orders, and creating three necklaces with a box of new beads, among other tasks. As long as I'm working on one of these tasks and mindful of my deadlines, it doesn't really matter what I do when. I used to feel like I should be working a certain way: with more structure, perhaps, or working on certain projects in longer or shorter stretches, or in a particular order, or only between the hours of 9 and 5. With this flexibility, I can procrastinate and still get a great deal accomplished. Even my breaks from my desk tend to be productive. A run to the post office gives my mind a chance to wander and come up with new project ideas.
Steal Like an Artist is a short, quick read based on page count alone, but it's the kind of book that will echo in your thoughts for a long time. I've returned my library copy and am buying one of my own.