‘Show Your Work!’ Six weeks in
I mentioned in a previous post how I was inspired to share more of my writing byShow Your Work! by Austin Kleon. This little book has been surprisingly helpful in sharing work, but also producing it. Six weeks into following some of the principles, I thought I would expand on how it has helped me.
One of Kleon’s ideas is giving out a daily missive to the world, an update on what you’re working on, your inspiration or some of your work. This was an completely alien concept to me. Previously, I would only tweet or write something once in a blue moon, so putting something out there every day was weird and scary. I decided to jump in the deep end though and start doing it. I’ve been significantly more active on Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter, trying to share something at least once a day on weekdays. I’ve kept to a schedule of blogging once a week. I am naturally quite a private person, so it was difficult at first. I have piles of notebooks full of writing that I have never shown anyone because they weren’t perfect.
This schedule has led to me opening up more, both online and in person. I want to share ideas and things I’m working on. It was difficult at first to get over myself and just click publish. Frequently, I have felt like a spambot, but this has died off and I have started to enjoy myself.
In addition, the concept of posting something daily has led to me being more creative. . Keeping to a regular schedule of deadlines means it becomes more of a hard deadline to produce things. The posts I have been putting up are small little newspaper poems, quotes from others and images I find interesting This weekly blog in particular is very useful for expanding on vague thoughts and ideas. I’m starting to chip away at that mental perfection barrier that insists everything has to be life changing before sharing with anyone.
It’s still a learning process. I would like to recommend more things by others as sometimes I still feel like a spambot. But I have grown in confidence in my writing and art. I’m going to keep to the same schedule and see where it gets me.
I’d recommend Show Your Work! to any creative person. Often times the issue is not creating things, but getting them out into the world. Although small, the book is a great source of inspiration and practical advice. If anyone else has started applying some of the principles in the book, let me know about your experiences.