Make, Show, Learn Issue 10

I’m at The Met right now1. I thought it’d be good to try a change of environment. On Saturday, I spent most of the day at home. It was snowing outside but I wasn’t snowed in or anything. I spent a few hours writing about the tools I’ve started using from Tools of Titans.

Friday night, I tinkered with the site2. I added feature images to the front page along with book covers for some of the book notes posts.

I probably should’ve done that a while ago. I also added a mailing list signup so feel free to be my first subscriber.

What will I send out to the mailing list? It won’t be every single post. I need to build up the courage to post those to Twitter.

When I was posting daily, I could always rely on two weekly posts to add shorter things to: Friday links posts and the Sunday journal.

These weekly issues are basically the Sunday journal. And I can definitely find five links to write about each week. The mailing list should capture new things I added to the site for the week.

Ten thousand, one thousand, but first, ten. Here are three links I’ve linked to before). They’re top of mind again after seeing two of them referenced in Tools of Titans.

First, Ten — Seth Godin

1,000 true fans — Kevin Kelly

The ten thousand reader rule — Shawn Coyne

All of them talk about audience sizes to aim for. They work together. You won’t reach 1,000 or 10,000 people without finding 10 willing to share. When you reach 10,000 people reading for free, not all of them will be willing to pay. When you can find 1,000 people willing to pay for anything you make, you can quit your day job.

But for me — first, one.

Oh yeah, I’m at the Met
I brought my iPad to draw some things. My drawing has been aimless the past few weeks so I started reading Keys to Drawing again. I’m still practicing sizing things properly. It’s something I can at least evaluate on my own by comparing to a photo.

I was drawing some of the statues in the American wing. I realized if I’m practicing sizing, the shapes can be pretty simple.

I looked up and noticed the left-most statue was way too short.

I’m still having a hard time drawing what I see. Adding on to fix that.


I tried drawing Cleopatra.

Well, a statue of Cleopatra.

I was a little self conscious drawing on an iPad in public. Then I realized I probably would’ve been self conscious with a sketch book too.

Then I remembered the eternal words of Don Draper:

“I don’t think about you at all.”

And I remembered the tourists aren’t thinking about what I’m doing at all. So many things are insignificant. It can be sad or it can be freeing. It’s up to you. Jerry Seinfeld has some tips for dealing with that.

Some other drawings
I’m writing a post going over my ten favorite books from the year and am trying to draw each author. Some have come out better than others.

That’s all for this week. One Sunday post left for this year! I’ll also try to finish a couple more Tools of Titans posts and the top-10 books post I mentioned above.

If I really push, I’ll finish a post about reading 52 books in 2016. It wasn’t as hard as I expected. Most people could do it by changing time spent reading whatever feeds or social news sites into time reading books. It also wasn’t as valuable as I expected. A lot of books weren’t great and I finished some for the sake of finishing them. I’d rather spend more time picking 26 books and digesting them properly.

  1. Well, I at least started writing this there. But I’m finishing it at home instead of in front of sculptures. ↩︎
  2. Maybe I shouldn’t mention I spent Friday night staring at a screen to wind down after a week of work staring at a screen. ↩︎