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  /  Blog   /  Show Your Work | A creative journey

Show Your Work | A creative journey

Himali Singh

Remember the first poem you ever wrote or the first painting that turned out how you wanted it to be or your first music creation. What was the first thing you wanted to do right after you finished? You wanted to Show Your Work!

Welcome to the book.

Show your Work by Austin Kleon is a necessary creative journey where he unfolds ‘10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered’. It is a continuation of his New York Times bestseller ‘Steal Like an Artist’. The book breaks notions like networking and demands you to take advantage of the network. 

Austin Kleon is known for inspiring others with his artistic approach and powerful ideas. He is not going to start disappointing you now. Show your work is not the regular 400-page long book that you might have commitment issues with. We all have books lying on our bedside tables with bookmarks on page 12, waiting to be picked. This is one-sitting kind of a book! 

For starters, you can judge this book by its cover. It’s a bright yellow front with ‘Show your work’ screaming on your face in black. What’s interesting is that the ‘ten ways’, the book talks about, are just sitting at the back cover (in case you didn’t want to read the entire thing). 

Unlike most books on Social Media which are just a flavour of the month, ‘Show Your Work’ is a little pack of big bang. It is not a self-promote or personal branding book, it is a self-discovery book with bonus aesthetic, quotes, stories and illustrations to put the point across. He encourages the readers to allow others in their creative process and offers ten transformative rules allowing generosity trump genius!

Here are my favourite parts to get that creative motivation going:

Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.

(Page 19)

A lot of people are so used to just seeing the outcome of work. They never see the side of the work you go through to produce the outcome.

-Michael Jackson (Page 32)

Don’t think of your website as a self-promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine.

(Page 67)

Every client presentation, every personal essay, every cover letter, every fundraising request—they’re all pitches. They’re stories with the endings chopped off.

(Page 101)

To be “interest-ing” is to be curious and attentive, and to practice “the continual projection of interest.” To put it more simply: If you want to be interesting, you have to be interested. 

(Page 131)

Make more work for yourself: Yet a life of creativity is all about change- moving forward, taking chances, exploring new frontiers. 

(Page174)

My favourite part of the book, however, is the ‘What Now?’ section! 

  1. Go online and post what you’re working on right now with the tag #show your work
  2. Plan a “show your work!” night with colleagues or friends. Use this book as a guide – share work-in-progress and your curiosities, tell stories and teach one another.
  3. Give a copy of this book away to somebody who needs to read it.

As Cormac Mccarthy said, “Books are made out of Books”, so work on a book and become tiresome! 

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