In Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Austen Kleon shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey―getting known.
10 Ways to show your creativity:
1. You don’t have to be a genius
If you want people to know about what you do and the things you care about, you have to share. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow.
2. Think process, not product
By sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move more of our product.
3. Share something small every day
Once a day, after you’ve done your day’s work, find one little piece of your process that you can share. Where you are in your process will determine what that piece is.
If you’re in the very early stages, share your influences and what’s inspiring you. If you’re in the middle of executing a project, write about your methods or share works in progress. If you’ve just completed a project, show the final product, share scraps from the cutting-room floor, or write about what you learned.
4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities
If you’re not ready to take the leap of sharing your own work with the world, you can share your tastes in the work of others.
5. Tell good stories
You should be able to explain your work to a kindergartner, a senior citizen, and everybody in between. Everybody loves a good story, but good storytelling doesn’t come easy to everybody. It’s a skill that takes a lifetime to master. So study the great stories and then go find some of your own. Your stories will get better the more you tell them.
6. Teach what you know
Teaching people doesn’t subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it. When you teach someone how to do your work, you are, in effect, generating more interest in your work. People feel closer to your work because you’re letting them in on what you know.
7. Don’t turn into human spam
If you want fans, you have to be a fan first. If you want to be noticed, you have to notice. Shut up and listen once in a while. Be thoughtful. Be considerate.
8. Learn to take a punch
When you put your work out into the world, you have to be ready for the good, the bad, and the ugly. The more people come across your work, the more criticism you’ll face.
9. Sell out
A life of creativity is all about change—moving forward, taking chances, exploring new frontiers.
So be ambitious. Keep yourself busy. Think bigger. Expand your audience. Don’t hobble yourself in the name of “keeping it real,” or “not selling out.” Try new things.
10. Stick around
It’s very important not to quit prematurely. The people who get what they’re after are very often the ones who just stick around long enough.