Lose yourself drawing. Jeff Tweedy’s advice for makers and people.

You have to stop thinking about anything other than what happened when you were a little kid, and you laid on the floor, and you drew. And you lost yourself in that drawing. And in the end, you absolutely loved that drawing because you made it yourself. And the drawing got hung up on the fridge regardless of how good it was, because your mom loves you and everybody loves you. Why can’t you be that kind to yourself?

Jeff Tweedy, How to Write One Song, pg 58

Jeff Tweedy‘s book, How to Write One Song, applies to anyone who makes things. Music is the medium he reflects on, but when you read the book, swap the word “song” with anything you make – paintings, birdhouses, stock cars, stained glass windows.

Anything.

The advice will still apply.

Dana Gioia’s Introduction to Edwin Arlington Robinson

Poet and information billionaire Dana Gioa has a YouTube channel. He regularly posts videos about the art of poetry, poem recitations, and profiles of poets past.

This week Mr. Gioa introduced me to Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Robinson lived a tortured life. His parents died while he was still a young man. He battled alcoholism. He was in love with his brother’s (Herman) wife Emma. And worked probably the worst day job of all time – 10 hours a day walking the darkness as a New York Subway time-checker. He once went an 11 year stretch without publishing a poem. And when finally published, the critics ridiculed his poetry. But despite life’s beat-downs, he found the fortitude to keep writing.

Success did arrive. An unexpected friendship with Kermit Roosevelt. Eventually, consistent publication. Multiple Pulitzer Prize wins for his Collected Poems, The Man Who Died Twice, and Tristram. And even romance, with the painter and the brilliantly named Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones.

The theme of Robinson’s life was tragedy, but his perseverance inspires.

Worth watching all the way through.