Monday, August 27, 2018

Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

I happened to notice Austin Kleon's Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered at work a few weeks ago at the last minute.  The book looked interesting enough so I decided to check it out.  I was going to start reading it last weekend, but was too sleepy and couldn't concentrate.  I then considered sending it back and getting it out another time, but since it's so short I powered through it mostly today.

Show Your Work! has a simple enough premise - you need to share what you're working on so people can discover you. This is especially true for people with creative pursuits, such as writing, painting, or photography; if people don't know what you're making (and have no way of discovering it), you probably won't be discovered. Kleon has ten main points to get you started:
  1. You don't have to be a genius (most people spend decades getting good at their art).
  2. Think process, not product.
  3. Share something small every day (very easy now thanks to the internet!)
  4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities (sharing your stuff will help you develop new stuff).
  5. Tell good stories (people like to hear the stories behind how things came to be).
  6. Teach what you know.
  7. Don't turn into human spam (you need to listen to others as well as share your work).
  8. Learn to take a punch (rejection and critique are true of all creative pursuits).
  9. Sell out (we all need somewhere to live and something to eat).
  10. Stick around.
As with any advice, he tells you that it's okay to use what you like and discard the rest - we're all individuals after all and what works for one person may not be useful for someone else.

All in all I enjoyed reading Show Your Work! Kleon gave me some ideas of stuff to try (and the encouragement to keep trying and not abandon projects!) :)

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