I haven’t finished reading it yet, but that isn’t going to stop me right now. You might think it a bit odd to recommend a book or talk about a book before you actually finish it but sometimes you run across something that you just have to share and you can’t stop yourself from talking about it. Mind you I have been a fan of Amanda Palmer for a long time so this is just an extension of all of that. But here’s the thing, reading her book “The Art of Asking” is a bit like coming full circle. It was through the events that inspired this book that I took an interest in her and the work she is doing so it was only a matter of time before I finally picked it up and got to reading the full story.
In the history of the whole thing, Amanda Palmer at one point set up a Kick Starter to help fund an album. In the process she raised over a million dollars for her efforts. This of course caused controversy and many people asked the question, “Who the hell is Amanda Palmer?” Even now aside from that and her marriage to Neil Gaiman (and even for all he has done there are people who have no clue who he is) she isn’t a household name like maybe someone like George RR Martin or Stephanie Meyer (granted she is a singer but I hope the analogy still holds some water).
Anyway, long story short she did the Kick Starter, and raised a butt load of money and gained notoriety for being a relatively unknown and still succeeding in something unheard of at the time. Through that she did a Ted Talk to relay her experience and share a bit of her life and such, among so much else that happened at that time to share the news she had become.
But that wasn’t the whole story.
So I finally got a chance to check out the book. And I have found it to be something so much more than simply the story of the Kick Starter and the various brouhaha surrounding it. So Much More.
Through anecdote and ramblings we are given a history of the world she has inhabited. We could say it is the same world as the rest of us but first off… artist, they are all in a reality slightly of skew from what most people know. But at the same time, the world really is a bit different for all of us anyway. This is how our lives play out and our interactions within it. We all see something slightly different. But I digress…
We are given intimate details of the life she has lived and we have a glimpse of how she has built her world around the simple thought of asking. I know, I know, it sounds hokey and strange. But the reality is, the concept of asking means so many different things to each and everyone of us. Her trip through her memories takes us through naked and raw emotional moments in her life and show us that we are not alone.
We have all had moments in our lives where the very thought of asking someone for help, for a chance, for a spark of life and love have left us vulnerable and alone, and sometimes burned us with shame for not being able to carry it all on our own. It is in these moments that we share the most important aspects of ourselves. For many of us, we guard that part of our lives in such a way that no one else may ever know us at that level.
Sure, I haven’t finished the book yet, but I highly recommend you pick it up and see for yourself the wonders it has in store for you. You may learn something about yourself you never thought to know.
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