Show your work: By Austin Kleon

The accumulating learnings highlighted in this book are boundless. Many of the learnings feel like a sight for sore eyes. A lot of which have been beneficial in my progress as a creator. I opened my creative process, which is documented through my blog channel, YouTube channel and weekly newsletter to be viewed by the world.

Please note:
I will paraphrase the learnings of this book to highlight my perceptive; which will be biased. Please consider all other substantive ideas are from the book.
I hope this summary encourages readers to reach out and acquire the book to draw upon their learnings.
I credit this book for the value and growth I’ve accumulated this year through my YouTube channel, blog channel and my newsletter.

Austin Kleon author of Show your work

Document your life whether that is through an audio recorder, notebook, journaling or even taking photographs at stages of your life.” – by documenting your work and the advantage of this as you reflect over time – you can see the gradual improvements in your work. This acts a great source of encouragement in continuing to pursue and create. And, that’s one of the reasons why I started writing blog posts and documenting my learnings through my YouTube channel. It also acts a way of taking accountability and commit to learning in front of the world.

Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – taking precedence over our learning and the progression we go through to become exceptional in our field. This is the result of what we learn from the failures of our mistakes. There’s a sense of advantage it makes us aware of what we need to improve upon. This process of learning from our mistake makes it impossible for others to ignore your progress. It enables you to teach others by preventing others from making the same mistakes.

Creativity is the result of a mind connected to other minds” – connecting to like-minded creators engenders a unique sense of creativity. There is new growth in your workflow which is dictated and directed by others perceptive. Often, being inspired by the work of others and replicating it in your terms is a mean to highlight your taste for the art.

Find a scenius, pay attention to what others are sharing, and then start taking note of what they’re not sharing – to find a niche, narrowing down on a topic that highlights a missing element and compounds your direction to teach others. I have found this to be a challenge – to niche down on a particular topic, a subject that provides value to others. In my current stream of creation, I’ve focused on what I find to be of value. Perhaps, I may need to start reviewing my process and be more strategic in my creative process. 

Shoot video of you working. This isn’t about making art, it’s about simply keeping track of what’s going on around you. It adds value to record or capture story-worthy moments of your day. Imagine being 80 years and re-watching yourself and the moments of various highlights of your youth. Instead of recording, I have been practising this method of capturing the story-worthy moment by creating little stories of my day. I initially came across this concept in the book Story-worthy by Matthew Dicks.

If you want to be more effective when sharing yourself and your work, you need to become a better storyteller. You need to know what a good story is and how to tell one. It’s the second time that I’ve come across this advice of learning to be a storyteller. As a skill, I am constantly practising this while considering a storyline whether that is through my writing or video production. An additional source of material to consider would be the book by Superhuman social skills – which breaks down the steps of storytelling or alternatively this article highlights the three components.

Don’t think of your website as a self-promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine. One of the fundamental reasons, I started was actioned on this advice. To find value in others perceptive via constructive feedback or comments that encourage. Through such advice, you create opportunities to invent and improve.

The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” – the avoidance to not share your learnings with the world is like suffocating it. The result of such suffocation is the hindrance in growth. For instance, by practising to learn how to play the piano and then you teach others. The vast improvement is highlighted when someone more experienced can provide their own perceptive to enhance your growth. The world’s feedback is important if you intend to improve.

A way of identifying who you should let in and out of your life. If, after hanging out with someone you feel worn out and depleted, that person is a vampire. If, after hanging out with someone you still feel full of energy, that person is not a vampire. Of course, The Vampire Test works on many things in our lives, not just people—you can apply it to jobs, hobbies, places, etc – the author expresses this quite simply, I won’t digress.

I want to conclude this summary with this quote, which in itself a reminder of our everyday success.

Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck—and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.” —Michael Lewis

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I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.

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