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Why You Must Steal

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I have a terrible secret to confess.

I’m a thief.

The newsletters I’ve written.

The videos we’ve made.

The things we’ve said.

All stolen.

From other authors.

Filmmakers.

Philosophers.

Painters.

You name it.

But I don’t feel guilty about it.

Imitation comes with being human.

From the day we’re born, we mimic.

The way we talk.

Act.

Dress.

It all comes from observing those around us.

It’s why 1 year-olds smile when you smile.

It’s why we have accents from where we’re from.

It’s why laughing is so contagious.

And as a creator, stealing may be the most essential thing you do.

It’s how you learn.

Imitate those you idolize.

Study them.

Steal what you love.

Especially when you start out.

Over time your work will take on a life of its own.

Because you have a different perspective.

Your work will be similar yet unique.

Even The Beatles stole.

As John Lennon said, “Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn’t been Elvis, there would not have been the Beatles.”

David Bowie was unapologetic about it too, “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.”

Don’t be ashamed.

In fact, this very newsletter was stolen.

It was inspired by Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon.

A great book that actively promotes stealing.

So if you like our content.

If you want to make something similar.

Do it.  

Steal. 

It’s the exchange that comes with being human.

With being a creator.

It’s the price we all pay for our collective evolution.

Love,

Matt

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