I recently read Austin Kleon’s compact book, Show Your Work!
It’s the inspiration for this, my first post of 2015. Actually, it inspired a whole New Year’s resolution — to update my website and start sharing my projects, ideas, and experiences with the outside world.
Although Kleon is a writer/artist while I’m more of a nerd, the 10 rules in Kleon’s book ring true for me. So I’m putting them right here* where I can refer to them in the coming year of blogging and sharing, along with any thoughts on why they apply to me. Maybe they’ll help you too.
- Share something every day, however small (this is how to build a desired habit, something I’ve been working on)
- Tell good stories (something I need to keep in mind if I want to communicate with, and maybe even persuade, “normal” people)
- Teach what you know (at my stage in life this is an obligation, not an option)
- Share your process, not a product (i.e., overcome my tendency to keep things to myself until they are fully polished; let others see the work in process and I may find collaborators and new ideas)
- Open up your cabinet of curiosities (share, don’t hoard, ideas and things I’ve collected that may be interesting or helpful to others)
- You don’t have to be a genius (I shouldn’t expect my work to be the best in the world, or even good; just stop measuring my achievements against others)
- Don’t turn into human spam (so I’ll try not to abuse “push” media like email, twitter, and facebook for self-promotion)
- Learn to take a punch (besides Internet trolls, I may encounter others critical of what I say; I’ll let them take their best shot, and just get over it)
- Sell out (which is saying, it’s OK if work brings some financial rewards; I’m not really thinking about this)
- Stick around (don’t give up too easily; the value of sharing work may only show if I build a body of it over time)
* I may have changed the order and wording of this list a bit. For the authentic list, check out the book.