Show Your Work: 10 Ways to SHare Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

Summary

  1. “If Steal Like an Artist was a book about stealing influence from other people, this book is about how to influence others by letting them steal from you.

Key Takeaways

  1. You don’t have to be a genius
    1. 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. Find a scenius [an “ecology of talent”], pay attention to what others are sharing, and then start taking note of what they’re not sharing. Be on the lookout for voids that you can fill with your own efforts, no matter how bad they are at first. Don’t worry, for now, about how you’ll make money or a career off it. Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same thing will find you.
    2. We’re always being told find your voice. When I was younger, I never really knew what this meant. I used to worry a lot about voice, wondering if I had my own. But now I realize that the only way to find your voice is to use it. It’s hardwired, built into you. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow
  2. Think process, not product
    1. Take people behind the scenes – show them your process, that life isn’t perfect. Be authentic, real, vulnerable
  3. Share something small every day
    1. Gets people to open up and trust you, becoming part of their every day lives
  4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities
    1. There’s not as big a difference between collecting and creating as you might think. A lot of the writers I know see the act of reading and the act of writing as existing on opposite ends of the spectrum: The reading feeds writing, which feeds the reading. “I’m basically a curator,” says the writer and former bookseller Jonathan Lethem. “Making books has always felt very connected to my bookselling experience, that of wanting to draw people’s attention to things that I liked, to shape things that I liked into new shapes.”
  5. Tell good stories
  6. Teach what you know
    1. Teaching people doesn’t subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it. When you teach someone how to do your work, you are, in effect, generating more interest in your work. People feel closer to your work because you’re letting them in on what you know.
  7. Don’t turn into human spam
    1. Sharing something small every day does not mean overloading people with your email. The spectrum is: hoarder – contributor – spammer. Aim for contributor
  8. Learn to take a punch
    1. Don’t be discouraged by haters – keep improving your craft and being open and vulnerable
  9. Sell out
    1. Don’t be afraid to ask a fair price for work you’re proud of and think adds value
  10. Stick around
    1. Keep at it and give yourself enough shots at bat to keep doing what you love

What I got out of it

  1. A quick, fun read. Teaching what you know has been a driving force behind The Rabbit Hole since day one and the “share something small every day” seems counter to how I work but might be an experiment worth trying…