Show Your Work!

I recently read Austin Kleon’s compact book, Show Your Work!

It’s the Show Your Work!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.

  1. Share something every day, however small (this is how to build a desired habit, something I’ve been working on)
  2. Tell good stories (something I need to keep in mind if I want to communicate with, and maybe even persuade, “normal” people)
  3. Teach what you know (at my stage in life this is an obligation, not an option)
  4. 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)
  5. Open up your cabinet of curiosities (share, don’t hoard, ideas and things I’ve collected that may be interesting or helpful to others)
  6. 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)
  7. Don’t turn into human spam (so I’ll try not to abuse “push” media like email, twitter, and facebook for self-promotion)
  8. 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)
  9.  Sell out (which is saying, it’s OK if work brings some financial rewards; I’m not really thinking about this)
  10. 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.