Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

  • How much I’d Recommend: 10/10
  • Date finished: 10/4/21
  • Show Your Work, recommend borrowing from your local library or buy a used copy

🚀 Three sentences to summarize the book:

  1. A book for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion
  2. A book for someone who doesn’t want to be a sell out
  3. A book for an introverted artist

☘️ How did this book change the way I think/work/learn:

This book makes me think of creativity differently. I always struggles to share my crafts, writing, climbing, reading, pottery, everything I do creatively while wanting to make money (to be self-sustainable hobbies). This book shows me that 1) it is totally possible, 2) it takes time, 3) how to not be a car-salesman about your crafts.

📒 Favorite Quotes:

  • Scenius: an ecology of talent, a whole scene of people who were supporting each other, looking at each other’s work, copying from each other, stealing ideas, and contributing ideas. Scenius just acknowledges that good work isn’t created in a vacuum and that creativity is always, in some sense, a collaboration, the result of a mind connected to other minds.
  • Be an amateur. David Foster Wallace said that he thought good nonfiction was a chance to “watch somebody reasonably bright but also reasonably average pay far closer attention and think at far more length about all sorts of different stuff than most of us have a chance to in our daily lives.
  • The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others. Don’t worry, for now, about how you will make money or a career off it.
  • “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.” —Steve Jobs
  • Overnight success is a myth.
  • Once a day, after you’ve done the day’s work, go back to your documentation and find one little piece of your process that you can share.
  • Be open, share imperfect and unfinished work that you want feedback on, but don’t share absolutely everything.
  • Tell good stories, work doesn’t speak for itself.human beings want to know where things came from, how they were made, and who made them. The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your work, and how people feel and what they understand about your work effects how they value it.
  • Don’t brag, don’t get cute. Just state the facts.
  • Create some tutorials and post them online. Use pictures, words, and video. Take people step by step through part of your process. “Make people better at something they want to be better at.”
  • Don’t be a human spam. Be an open node.
  • Don’t ever ask people to follow you. “Follow me back?” Is the saddest question on the internet.

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