Stealing from your favorite writers

I just read Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. What does it mean to steal as an artist?

We are all standing on the shoulders of giants. The writers who came before us trailblazed their way to the heart of humanity and have become part of our culture.

Stealing from our favorite writers is unavoidable. We emulate them without even knowing it. If we do it strategically, we can become better writers, faster.

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel when we write. The same way new technology companies don’t develop from scratch. They use existing technology as a framework and improve upon it.

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. —Mark Twain

Now get to reading (and stealing)!


Who are you favorite writers? What do you “steal” from them?