Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
My rating: 6/10
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Put your work out there and make it discoverable while you’re focused on getting really good at what you do.
If your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist. If you want people to know about what you do and the things you care about, you have to share. A daily dispatch is even better than a résumé or a portfolio, because it shows what we’re working on right now.
Don’t worry about everything you post being perfect. Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon once said that 90 percent of everything is crap. The same is true for our own work. The trouble is, we don’t always know what’s good and what sucks. That’s why it’s important to get things in front of others and see how they react.
Your influences are all worth sharing because they clue people in to who you are and what you do—sometimes even more than your own work. We all love things that other people think are garbage. You have to have the courage to keep loving your garbage, because what makes us unique is the diversity and breadth of our influences, the unique ways in which we mix up the parts of culture others have deemed “high” and the “low”. When you find things you genuinely enjoy, don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about it. Being open and honest about what you like is the best way to connect with people who like those things, too.
“Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is a form of suicide.” If you spend your life avoiding vulnerability, you and your work will never truly connect with other people.
You have to remember that your work is something you do, not who you are. This is especially hard for artists to accept, as so much what they do is personal.
“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough” - Alain de Botton.