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Show Your Work! : 10 Ways to Share your Creativity and Get Discovered – Austin Kleon

Thoughts: In Show Your Work, Austin Kleon exhorts the reader to build an audience and get their work noticed by documenting and sharing the process behind any creative work they’re doing. The book takes the form of a series of quotes and anecdotes, amounting to so many versions of successful person X did/does thing Y, so if you do thing Y, you’ll likely be more successful too, and while I think Kleon’s advice generally holds (if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have a weekly newsletter or this website), I would have appreciated it had he spent some time discussing non-anecdotal evidence that his suggested techniques will actually help the book’s average reader. Short and with some good ideas, Show Your Work is nevertheless more motivational than educational.

(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering. I read this as an e-book, so page numbers are as they appeared in the app I used, Libby.)

Kleon, Austin. 2014. Show Your Work! : 10 Ways to Share your Creativity and Get Discovered. Workman.

1. You Don’t Have to Be a Genius.

2. Think Process, Not Product.

3. Share Something Small Everyday.

4. Open Up Your Cabinet of Curiosities.

5. Tell Good Stories.

6. Teach What You Know.

7. Don’t Turn Into Human Spam.

8. Learn to Take a Punch.

9. Sell Out.

10. Stick Around.

Posted: Sep 19, 2021. Last updated: Sep 19, 2021.