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“Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered” by Austin Kleon offers practical advice and a refreshing perspective on the importance of sharing the creative process. If you’re looking to connect with like-minded individuals, build a supportive community around your creative pursuits, and discover new opportunities, this book provides actionable strategies and a compelling argument for embracing the practice of “showing your work.” It’s a valuable resource for anyone seeking to make their creative endeavors more visible and impactful.
- Genre: Creativity, Self-Help, Career Development
- Themes: Creative Expression, Self-Promotion, Building an Audience, Networking, Sharing Ideas
What is this book about?
“Show Your Work!” is an inspiring and practical guide for creative individuals looking to share their work with the world and build a meaningful audience. This book explores themes related to creative expression, self-promotion, connecting with an audience, networking, and the power of sharing ideas.
At its core, “Show Your Work!” challenges the conventional wisdom that creativity should be kept secret until it’s perfect. Instead, it advocates sharing one’s creative process, progress, and works-in-progress. Austin Kleon believes that by sharing our creative journey, we connect with others and enhance our creative growth.
The book’s central theme is that sharing and “showing your work” is a powerful way to gain visibility, build relationships, and attract opportunities. Kleon provides ten practical strategies for creatives to showcase their work effectively in a digital age where sharing has become a fundamental part of the creative process.
The book begins by emphasizing the importance of “being findable” and making your work discoverable in a world inundated with information. Kleon encourages creatives to establish a digital presence, create a portfolio, and embrace the idea that every creative act can be documented and shared.
Throughout the book, Kleon explores “working in public,” where creatives openly share their process, influences, and insights. He highlights the benefits of sharing even the small and imperfect steps, which can lead to meaningful connections and collaboration opportunities.
One of the key takeaways from the book is that generosity and authentic sharing are essential for building a supportive and engaged audience. Kleon encourages creatives to share their influences, inspirations, and what they’re learning along their creative journey. He emphasizes that sharing often leads to unexpected opportunities and connections.
Takeaways and tips
Here are some of the key takeaways from the book:
- Sharing your work is essential for building a following and getting discovered. People can’t find and appreciate your work if you don’t share it.
- There are many ways to share your work, such as blogging, social media, and online communities. Find ways to share your work that are authentic to you, and that reach your target audience.
- It’s important to be consistent with your sharing. The more often you share your work, the more likely people will see and engage with it.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different ways of sharing your work and see what works best.
- Be open to feedback. Feedback from others can help you to improve your work and to reach a wider audience.
Here are some additional tips for sharing your work based on the book and my own experience:
- Be yourself. People easily detect fakes. Be authentic to yourself and your work; people will be drawn to you.
- Be generous. Share your knowledge and expertise with others, and don’t be afraid to help. This will build goodwill and make people more likely to support your work.
- Be patient. It takes time to build a following and get discovered. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Keep sharing your work and building relationships; your hard work will pay off.
Here are some specific examples of how you can share your work:
- Start a blog. Blogging is an effective way to share thoughts, ideas, and work globally. You can write about your interests, your passions, and your work.
- Use social media. Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn effectively share work with a larger audience. You can promote links to your blog posts, articles, other work, and behind-the-scenes photos and videos.
- Join online communities. There are online communities for just about every interest. Find communities where you can share your work and connect with others interested in what you do.
- Attend conferences and meetups. This is a great way to meet and share your work with people in your field. You can give presentations and workshops or chat with people about your work.
- Speak at events. Consider speaking at events in your field if you have something to say. This is a great way to share your work with a larger audience and to build your reputation as an expert.
“Show Your Work!” is best suited for creative individuals, including artists, writers, musicians, designers, and anyone looking to share their creative endeavors with a wider audience. It is particularly valuable for those hesitant about self-promotion or unsure how to navigate the digital landscape to gain recognition for their work.
Best-recommended books besides “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon
These alternative books offer diverse perspectives and practical advice on creativity, self-promotion, and unleashing your creative potential. These books offer insights and strategies for success in the creative world, benefiting artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking to nurture their creativity.
“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon
“Steal Like an Artist” by the same author, Austin Kleon offers creative insights and advice for artists and creators. Kleon encourages readers to embrace influence, find inspiration in others’ work, and develop their unique creative voice. The book provides practical tips for nurturing creativity and navigating the creative process.
Why we love it:
- Dive deeper into Austin Kleon’s creative philosophy.
- Learn about the importance of influence and inspiration in the creative journey.
- Discover practical strategies for unleashing your creative potential.
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
In “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert explores the magic of creativity and the pursuit of a creative life. Gilbert encourages readers to overcome fear and embrace their creative passions. She shares anecdotes and wisdom on inspiration, curiosity, and the joy of creative expression. The book offers a liberating perspective on living a creative life.
Why we love it:
- Gain insight into the creative process and living a life driven by passion.
- Overcome creative fears and obstacles with Elizabeth Gilbert’s guidance.
- Embrace the sense of wonder and possibility that creativity brings.
“Manage Your Day-to-Day” edited by Jocelyn K. Glei.
“Manage Your Day-to-Day” is a book of essays by creative experts on productivity, focus, and creativity. Edited by Jocelyn K. Glei, the book delves into the importance of routines, habits, and time management in nurturing creativity. It provides actionable advice for achieving creative success in the modern world.
Why we love it:
- Access a collection of insights from renowned creative professionals.
- Discover effective time and energy management strategies.
- Discover how to build routines that foster productivity and creativity.
“The Creative’s Guide to Starting a Business” by Harriet Kelsall
“The Creative’s Guide to Starting a Business” is a comprehensive resource for creative individuals looking to turn their talents into successful careers. Kelsall covers topics such as business planning, marketing, and building a brand. The book offers guidance and examples for creatives in entrepreneurship.
Why we love it:
- Learn how to start and run a creative business effectively.
- Learn about business planning, marketing, and branding specific to creative ventures.
- Explore real-life success stories and practical tips for creative entrepreneurs.
“Creative Confidence” by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
“Creative Confidence” by Tom Kelley and David Kelley explores the concept of creative confidence and its role in innovation and problem-solving. The authors, renowned design thinkers, provide strategies for unlocking and harnessing your creative potential. The book offers real-world examples and exercises to help readers boost their creative confidence.
Why we love it:
- Discover how to cultivate and unleash your creative confidence.
- Learn how creativity can drive innovation and problem-solving.
- Gain insights from design thinking experts on nurturing creativity.
“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield
“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield addresses the inner resistance that often hinders creative endeavors. Pressfield explores the concept of resistance and offers strategies for overcoming it. The book provides a powerful perspective on the challenges artists and creators face and offers guidance on breaking through creative blocks.
Why we love it:
- Confront and conquer the inner resistance that hinders creative pursuits.
- Gain a profound understanding of the challenges faced by artists and creators.
- Learn how to win the inner creative battles and fulfill your creative potential.