I am an introvert and have like many always struggled showing my work.
I dreamt hidden behind the curtains of my apartment's floor to ceiling windows and wanted to get the courage to one day tell everyone about my ideas. I was shy like many to speak up or show my work. So, when I was in school I had warmed up to the idea to write for a newspaper. Back then you had to mail them and one day out of nowhere it was published. That's how I started- showing my work.
That didn't take away from the awkwardness of thinking that if I wanted to show my work it would always be talking amidst people and selling them my pitch. Later, slowly I would send poems, articles mailed to be published in some coffee table books and journals.
Later when I had mustered the courage standing in front of the mirror holding the record button of my walkman practising speaking to a crowd I realised you could now blog. Thankfully that helped me start writing. I had a personal blog way back in college and then wrote another lifestyle blog and finally this one that you are reading today. Showing your work can be powerful, with so many platforms available now you can choose the one that makes you comfortable. I finally mustered up the courage also to start speaking up- opened my YouTube channel.
I wish I read this book before and that's why today we will talk about this book with the hope that if you are still fumbling and thinking whether you are good enough to showcase your work- you need to read this.
The Book- Show Your Work
Author- Austin Kleon
Price: 603 INR Kindle and 916 INRfor paperback (I have the Kindle version)
Who Should read it- Anyone who wants to put their work in the public domain and needs a little bit of push.
"It's not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to findable"
Put your work out there- You need to decide to put your work out there, whether it's through words, pics or videos. Kleon thinks that people will find you (yeah I am waiting for that too and thank you for reading my blog).You don't have to be a genius, rich or mater- you can start as an amateur.
Learn in front of others- The best way to get started on the path of sharing your work is to make a commitment to start learning in front of others. I think the biggest fear is that of being called a failure when you put yourself out without being an expert. I know it well enough especially when taking up a new role or a new platform. I think more successful you are in one one part of life, more fearful you are putting yourself out in another.
Read Obituaries- To be aware that we are all going to die one day might help us treat our days as something to share our work. I recently heard it's also one of the good ways to find out what your goals are or who you want to be. thinking what will be written in your gravestone after you are long gone, is what brings back clarity on what we should be doing more of.
Think process not products- What used to matter before was just the product. No one knew what happened behind the scenes in creating it. However now with social media available an artist /author/ideator doesn't have to work in secrecy behind the scenes anymore and can choose to talk about the process if he/she chooses to. By putting things out there consistently, anyone can actually form a relationship with customers who can now read/see the person behind the products.
Become a documentarian of what you do- how can you show your work even when you have nothing to show? documenting your life can have its advantages because now you can get it done even with just a phone. You can choose to share when you are ready now that you have enough content ready
Share something small everyday- in early stages share what inspires you, middle stage share your process and as an expert share about how your project/products are doing.
"That's all any of us are: amateurs. We don't live long enough to be anything else" . - Charlie Chaplin
Turn your flow into Stock- Stock is best made by collecting, organizing and expanding upon your flow.
Tell good stories- Human being like to know where things came from, how they made it and who made them. always keep your audience in mind when telling one.
Shut up and Listen- if you are only pointing to your own stuff online, you are doing it wrong. you have to be a connector. if you want to get, you have to give.
Learn to take a punch- when you put your work out there, you have to be ready for the good, bad and the ugly. trick is to not care what everybody thinks of you but what the right people think of you.
"I come pre hated. Take your best shot" - Cyndi lauper
Pay it forward- Be as generous as you can but selfish enough to get your work done.
Reading this book again, opened me up to getting back to my work and start hitting the "publish" button again. Let me know if you read this book.
(Pic courtesy: Google images)