When I was asked to talk to students at a community college in upstate New York, I sat down and wrote a talk based on a list of 10 things I wished I’d heard when I was starting out:
1. Steal like an artist.
2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.
3. Write the book you want to read.
4. Use your hands.
5. Side projects and hobbies are important.
6. The secret: do good work and share it with people.
7. Geography is no longer our master.
8. Be nice. (The world is a small town.)
9. Be boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.)
10. Creativity is subtraction.
The text and slides from the talk “rocked the creative world” (GalleyCat) and went viral—since it’s been online, the original blog post has reached millions of readers.I’ve expanded the post into a book-length work stuffed full of brand-new writing and illustrations, published by Workman Publishing in February 2012.