Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Review: Show Your Work

Show Your Work! : 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon is a gem of a book. I truly didn't know what to expect of it, but I had seen it advertised in Bookpage and decided to give it a try. After all, I have come to the sad realization that I stink at marketing. Anything that can help me is greatly appreciated. But, this book isn't really about marketing - it's about sharing, and I like that. I do that and feel good about it.

I hate self-promotion. Honestly, I wish we could go back in time to when bragging was considered in poor taste. Instead we live in a world where it seems everyone is vying for people to pay attention to them. Trying to take part in that, however necessary it might be as a writer, causes me pain. Kleon wrote this book for people like me. He writes, "I'm going to try to teach you how to think about your work as a never-ending process, how to share your process in a way that attracts people who might be interested in what you do, and how to deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out in the world."

Kleon works on the basis that we all have something to share, that we each have something to bring to this conversation that is the world's ongoing culture development. Someone else's idea might spark our own creative vision, which in turn might inspire someone else. So, share! Don't keep your creative process locked in a drawer. Share your process. Share what you are working on. Offer commentary. Point out something wonderful someone else is doing. Just keep being part of the conversation.

He also offers advice on what to do when the inevitable rejection comes and how to keep going when all seems lost.

"Show Your Work" is an easy read with a lot of wisdom in its pages. The design and illustration of the book add to the overall positive impression as well. It should be read by anyone who works in a creative field.

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