A Cure-ation for Writer’s Block


In yesterday’s email (RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.04.08), I shared Austin Kleon’s blog post “On quantity and quality.”

In the post, he shares a story and quotes liberally from David Bayles and Ted Orland’s book, “Art & Fear.”

The story: A ceramics teacher divides his class in two. He said he would grade Group 1 on volume. The more work you produce, the higher your grade. He would grade Group 1 on quality. Produce just one work, but make it great. The better the work, the higher the grade.

Here’s where things got interesting: The group graded on QUANTITY produced higher-quality work.

Here’s how Kleon explained it: “It’s a parable about perfectionism with a clear moral: Quantity leads to quality. The parable tells us that if we worry less about making perfect work and just make a lot of work, we’ll make a lot of junk, sure, but we’re also more likely to make something great.”

Good take, Austin. I agree. That’s true for ceramicists. That’s true for content creators.

But there’s more to learn from Austin Kleon’s post than the quantity vs. quality thing.

Austin Kleon is a master-curator. He borrows others’ work, presents it to his audience, and shares his interpretation — just like a museum curator who hangs someone else’s art on the wall and puts a plaque next to the art to explain it.

Why should you care?

Because curation cures writer’s block. If you’re stuck, curate someone else’s work. They’ll do most of the writing for you.

Here’s the bulk of Kleon’s post. The “borrowed” part is in yellow. His take is in blue.

A lot more yellow than blue.

By the way, this email about curation…

…is mostly curated content. Sure, I’ve written a few lines to summarize key takeaways, provide context, and offer tips. But Austin Kleon and the authors of “Art & Fear’ have done most of the writing.

When you feel like you’re out of stories to tell, share someone else’s story to get unstuck.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.