Show Your Work! How?
Hello! this article is about the book “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon, a short book full of inspiring advice on sharing your work online. Let’s list down some takeaways and how I plan to stick by them. ✨
The Book in 3 Sentences
- Share your thoughts, your process and your work, not product: Share your success, and more importantly, your failures. Help others who want to be on the same path.
- You need to collaborate with others and show your work; the story of the lone genius is a myth that needs to die.
- By sharing your work online, you’ll connect with people who care about the same stuff you do.
• Share what you love
Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you
Start from what you know and what you care about, and share that. In doing so, you’ll operate from a place of joy and passion that will lead to higher quality, energizing work. And then the people who care about similar things or who find that work valuable will follow.
• Think process, not product
Become a documentarian of what you do — As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “document, don’t create”.
Don’t treat the method behind your work as a secret sauce. In sharing what has helped you do good work, you empower others to do the same and simultaneously increase interest in what you’re doing. Write down your thoughts in a notebook. Whether you share it or not, documenting your process has its own rewards.
• Teach what you know
“The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” — Annie Dillard
Teaching people doesn’t take away from what you do, it adds to it. When you teach someone how to do your work, you’re actually generating more interest in your work. People will feel closer to it because you’re teaching them what you know.
When you teach and share your work with others, you’ll get an education in return. People will see your stuff, connect with it, and reach out to you with recommendations and their own thoughts.
• You don’t have to be a genius
“That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be
anything else.” — Charlie Chaplin
Be an amateur. If you look at the original meaning of the word ‘amateur’, it’s someone who is doing something for the love of it, and not seeking fame or recognition. Sometimes, amateurs have more to teach us than experts. An amateur understands the beginner's mind. The expert doesn’t. Pick something you want to learn and share your apprentice’s journey with others.
• Just Start and Stick Around
“We work because it’s a chain reaction, each subject leads to the next.”
— Charles Eames
Whatever you want to do in life, the best time to start is now. Waiting for the perfect opportunity or for confirmation that your idea is goodwill lead to a paralyzing state of inaction.
Don’t quit — Keep doing your work, and keep sharing. Don’t be afraid to change things up. It’s not really starting over. You’re still keeping everything you learned before. You’re just starting from chapter one again.
My New Way of Operating
How? I decided to post articles about the topics that I’m learning or working on and those which I’d like to explore in the near future. The second question was where to post those articles, to which I have written an article or two on Medium but I also have a portfolio website which I built just for sake of having one.
So, my initial plan was to update the website with a blog to post my articles and some features to interact with the audience, which would have taken at least a month and a bit more resources. The better idea which I came up with is, To continue writing on Medium and to integrate these articles eventually. This would save me time creating a blog platform from scratch. Meanwhile, I can start with sharing the process of creating a module for embedding these stories on Medium with my website (stay tuned).
— all responses and queries are welcomed.