In the book Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, there’s a section called “Open Up Your Cabinet of Curiosities” with a bunch of questions, all of which I am determined to answer. The first one was “Where do you get your inspiration?” The second one is:
What sort of things do you fill your head with?
I’m a big believer in “you are what you eat”, especially when it comes to the type of media I consume. That means I fill my head with good stuff. The problem is, there are so many neurons firing away in there that it takes more than just taking in good media to get them trained to think positively. I have to act on what I read/watch/listen to, in order for it to have a lasting effect.
Which brings us to the point of actually answering the question. I fill my head with a good dose of Muslim women writers, funny stuff, Islamic lectures and blogs. I confess that before, it used to be a good dose of any novel that I judged to be “clean”, with a bit of non fiction thrown in, and the random reading of an Islamic text translated into English. I am steering myself towards buying South Asian or Muslim or women writers, and if it’s a South Asian Muslim woman writer who writes Islamic stuff, I am the ultimate fangirl. In the sense that I still have to purchase Sadaf Farooqi‘s books, while I follow her blog and tweets and even managed to end up in a Whatsapp group with her in it (I didn’t know at the time of asking to join the group that she was in it. Hidden bonus. Achievement unlocked!) I ended up getting books by Na’ima B Robert, Umm Zakkiyah, and Yasmin Mogahed first. This post shall serve to drive me on to order Sadaf’s stuff and become a true fangirl.
The next question is more related to reading, so I will save the details (yes, there’s more!) for then.