I’ve just finished devouring Austin Kleon‘s book “Show Your Work!”, which I was given for my recent birthday, and its encouraging and motivating message couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Show Your Work!” offers ten simple tips for creatives to share their work and get discovered.
The book encourages its readers to make the most of blogs and social media to show people their creative process, rather than just the finished product. Sharing your process can help to form a real connection with your audience.
By letting go of our egos and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move even more of our product.
– Austin Kleon, “Show Your Work”
Kleon also focuses on the importance of networking and collaboration and warns against becoming “human spam” – these are the kind of people who “don’t want to listen to your ideas; they want to tell you theirs” and “can’t find the time to be interested in anything other than themselves”. Kleon stresses the value of being part of a community, connecting with other people – engaging with their work and learning from them.
It’s a terrific, entertaining read that I highly recommend, and one I think I’ll be referring to often.
I don’t really find it easy to share my work. I didn’t mind so much when I was younger, and was quite happy to tell people I was a writer, and let them read my latest story. But more recently I’ve found it difficult to even tell people I enjoy writing, let alone share any of it with them.
I’m still very reluctant to show people unfinished work, but like the idea of at least discussing a project and providing updates about the progress towards the finished product (not that I’m actually working on any exciting projects at the moment, but it’s certainly something I’ll keep in mind in future).
This blog is a tentative first step, I guess, in sharing a glimpse of my own work, and being more open about my love of writing. I still struggle a bit with the networking side of things, as I find that even online, I’m the shy one in the corner, quietly observing others rather than confidently joining in (and I still haven’t quite worked up the courage to tell friends about my blog and share my new posts on my own Facebook page!). But I’m working on it.
(Images from austinkleon.com)