• Forget the noun, Do the verb. Rather than focusing on the idea of being a creator, focus on the process/act of creating
  • Creative work is hard, life is short and art is long. Embrace routine and make creativity and creating things a daily habit.
  • Plant your garden. Cultivate your own personal creative ecosystem rather than relying on external validation or trends. Do work that satisfies you first.


I read this book as a follow-up to Austin Kleon’s other books, ‘Steal Like an Artist’ and ‘Show your work’. I really enjoyed those books and read them at a time when I was really exploring my own personal creativity, what I wanted to create, and deciding whether to share it with people and how to go about doing that. Austin’s books have been a great resource for me in the past as his experiences and messages align well with my own personal experience and they are both extremely informative and easy to read.

Going into this book I wasn’t sure what else he had to offer me in terms of my own personal creative journey and sharing my work online but ‘Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad’ proved to be another excellent addition to his collection of books. Focusing on the processes of being creative and how to maintain momentum and engagement even during down periods, this book provides helpful insights into the mindsets behind being a consistent creator and the steps to becoming and staying resilient on your creative journey.

The themes of this book focus on sustainability in creativity (where you build habits and routines that help you to sustain a creative life), mindfulness and presence (where you use strategies to help you stay present in the moment and nurture your creativity), and resilience (the ability to keep creating through difficult periods, focusing on a balanced approach to work and life). Like his other books, I read this book at a time when I was just starting to write and was unsure about the direction I was going. Today, the themes of this book still ring through and are potentially even more helpful as I expand my writing and attempt to balance it with the rest of my life.

Overall, this book follows the trend of Kleon’s other books by being a quick and easy read while also being very informative and insightful. I would highly recommend this if you are in a creative slump, just getting started on your creative journey, or are thinking of creating something and are unsure how to maintain your enthusiasm.

How I Discovered It

I discovered this book by reading Kleon’s other work. Due to the short nature of his books, it is extremely easy to read all of them in quick succession and his writing style and message encourages reading his other work.

Who Should Read It?

If you are someone who works in a creative industry, does creative work as a side gig or a hobby, or someone who would like to create more but finds it difficult then you should definitely pick this book up. The themes and messages empower you on your creative journey and help you to be adaptable in your creative process. 

His main message is that creativity, or the path to creative fulfillment, is through consistent daily action, persistence, and a focus on the joy of creating rather than something that only the super-talented get to do, and I believe that this will resonate with many people. If you are looking to sustain your creative journey through all stages of life then this book can be a helpful companion.

My Top 3 Quotes

  1. The most prolific artists have figured out a daily practice –  a repeatable way of working that insulates them from success, failure, and the chaos of the outside world
  2. The only things we can really control is what we spend our days on. What we work on and how hard we work on it.
  3. Your attention is one of the most valuable things you possess, which is why everyone wants to steal it from you. First you must protect it, and then you must point it in the right direction.

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