I first heard about Robert Genn on one of my favorite blogs, Plays With Needles. Off in the margin was a link to his “Twice-Weekly Letters”. In these letters I found a fascinating man sharing his experiences and hard-won knowledge as a successful artist. He travels far and wide (visit a Turkish market on page 768 or Chebbi Erg on page 307, for starters). He must have read everything ever written about every interesting person ever born. George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, and Aristotle all appeared in random paragraphs I happened upon, today.
This book is full of inspiration in bite-sized pieces. Twenty years worth. Whenever I need to change my focus, I just let the book fall open and lose myself in its pages for a few minutes. Not every post will appeal to all readers! But, if you subscribe to the notion that learning about how interesting people live will enrich your own life, you will find plenty here that’s worth your time.
The whole thing began with some emails he sent to friends in 1999. These were shared, again and again, until tens of thousands had signed up to receive them. You can sign up for the newsletters here.
In the very back of the book is a section titled “Zingers” – these are responses from his readers. Mina wrote “I think the letters are perfect. I mean, perfectly unique and very human and inspiring”. But one zinger, in particular, made me laugh and proved Mr. Genn is humble, since he printed this quote from Helen: “I am cancelling my subscription because you already know too much about me”.
If you would like to be in my drawing for one copy of the book, just leave me a comment so I’ll know you’re interested. I will also be posting this on Facebook, where you can also enter by “liking” my post. The drawing will be held on February 1.