Dernièrement mon ¨devoir¨ était de publier une fiche de lecture sur mon blog. La voici, en bilingue puisque j’ai lu le livre en anglais, livre que je recommande vivement par ailleurs.
The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin, read in 10.2016
1) Quel est le point du livre qui vous semble le plus important à retenir
The points that I took away are:
The fact that being an artist is more of an every day attitude than a matter of success/earning your life through your art/the result and outcome of what you create. This can come — or not — but is not the point.
¨An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it (all of it: the work, the process, the feedback from those we seek to connect with) personally.¨
¨Art is an attitude, available to anyone who chooses to adopt it.¨
The fact that the author insists so much on the importance of sharing your art, or else it is not art (because it is not risky and not generous) seems like a good thing to remember too.
Finally the fact that pain is and will always be part of art because ¨It is the pain (and fear of pain) that makes art scarce.¨
¨Art is the result of an internal battle royale.¨
All in all, art is an every day attitude, with an outcome that needs to be shared, and the whole thing will always be painful seems like a good summary of the main takeaway of the book, in my view.
2) Comment vais-je utiliser le contenu de ce livre pour aller plus loin dans la construction de ma posture d’auteur et dans mon écriture?
This book pushed me in the direction of commitment, practice, of ¨seeking questions rather than answers¨. It reminded me of the importance of embracing the process — and all its discomfort — rather than wanting it all beautiful and perfect from the start.
¨The endless emergency of getting it over with is replaced by the daily practice of doing the work¨
¨The challenge is to reset your comfort level, to be okay with the undone, with the cycle of never ending¨.
The other thing I want to work on is to transform my approach — the resistance in fact — from mainly friction/suffering/¨I have to¨/this is not yet done to experimentation and fun sometimes (and then most of the time, hopefully). Seeing my writing as part of a bigger to do list is absolutely discouraging and very sad.
The Icarus Deception also reminded me of the importance of not only doing the work for myself but of sharing it. This is linked to building my ¨tribe¨ (lectorat), which is not something I would naturally do. Following this, the importance of finding your tribe and of not caring about the rest. Being mindful about who I can touch, and then leaving the rest alone.
¨First pick yourself and then chose your audience (…) Get better at connecting with that audience, and ignore the rest.¨
This point leads to the point of feedback handling, success and failure, although it may be a little early for me, I think it will be worth remembering, at some point, that:
The only feedback worth listening to is the one that will help me make better art, because it pushes me out of my comfort zone, to reach higher. The rest is just noise (¨I like it, I didn’t, I hated it¨ whatever).
¨What did you do and why did you do it matters more than the ¨did the critics like it?¨
¨You are not your art, if your art does not work (or if it does) you will be back tomorrow with more (better) art.¨
¨When a work of art fails, don’t question your commitment to art. You can question how you see, how you make, how ¨good¨ your art is but the artist in you should not waste time questioning true commitment to art. When your art fails, make better art. And remember the importance of just keeping doing it. Do not confuse reactions and your art.¨
¨Being liked is often counterproductive in art. When you want to be liked, or when you are you start trading in your true self for pleasing the masses and being liked.¨
¨If not enough people doubt you, you are not making a difference.¨
Two more points are — worth remembering on Sunday nights in Bordeaux when I feel a little overwhelmed and discouraged — the importance of ¨knowing the rules¨ and the importance of thinking about what I want to pass on (¨identité d’auteur¨). I think that both points are hard to build on myself and the Académie helps me with these, even if in an uncomfortable way.
¨You need to know the conventional wisdom inside and out. Not to obey the rules but to break them.¨
¨Pick which rules to break and embrace the rest¨
Nommer une action concrète que je peux mettre en oeuvre dès aujourd’hui
Well I started last week, I wake up every weekday at seven and am at my desk from 8.30am to 11.30am, doing only things linked to my writing/art, in order to lead a daily ¨Battle Royale¨ with the craft of writing and with my lizard brain.
3) Quel est le point sur lequel j’aurais souhaité que l’auteur aille plus loin et comment vais-je l’approfondir? (Ex livre, …)
There are a couple of references that I have noted and want to research (books, ted talks, …)
Quelle réflexion vais-je avoir?
Quelle expérience vais-je faire?
As I said before I want to keep practicing so that practice/working on my writing enters my lizard brain so deeply that it stops being managed with such high friction, the idea is then to change my approach to one of experimentation and fun rather than just trying to catch up with something/part of my ¨to do¨ list.