Book discussion

This isn’t something that I would like doing: some kind of book review. However, in my previous post I promised to discuss the book that actually pushed me to get the ball rolling. So here we go!

The book

The title of the book is “Show your work! – 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered” and was written by Austin Kleon. Let’s see what these ways are:

  1. You don’t have to be a genius
  2. Be an amateur
  3. Share something small, every day
  4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities
  5. Tell good stories
  6. Teach what you know
  7. Don’t turn into human spam
  8. Learn to take a punch
  9. Sell out
  10. Stick around

To be fair, the chapters seem quite short, or maybe it just feels like that because the writing style is very easy. Together with some smart quotes from other more or less famous people, the book gives enough pointers to break my own thinking patterns.

The first tips were the most valuable

For me, especially tips 1 and 2 had a big impact: my perfectionism always kept me from expressing myself: what if I don’t know enough, what if I’m wrong, what if someone has another opinion? Tip 2 gives me permission to suck. I’m an amateur, not a professional nor an expert. So tone down the expectations on myself a bit…

Regarding tip 3, sharing something every day: I’m doing that now. I post here every day and since my posts have permission to suck, I don’t have to produce something huge. Just whatever comes to my mind, don’t overthink it. Also, I like photography and I have quite a few photographs that I feel quite proud of. I started posting at least one of my better photographs on Instagram. Maybe I should share them on this site as well!

Tip 4… I have quite a few diverse interests (without being an expert!). If I would be forced to choose a theme, I would limit myself. What if I would just open up and show the diversity of my interests? Something to think about for sure!

Telling good stories, I already discussed that in my previous post. While it is good to make posts more interesting for others, it should not distract me from just posting. So this is a balance here. For now, I should focus on quantity before quality.

The later tips, not so much

Tips 6 to 9 are valuable, but they more or less confirm and reinforce what I already knew. They feel less applicable while my blog still lives in the shadows of the internet. However, if my blog starts gaining momentum, some of these tips may become more important.

Last but not least tip 10. Currently I feel I have the energy to build up the blog, but my earlier efforts are proof that I might burn out. The gist of this tip is to allow yourself taking a break. But instead of stopping completely and having to start over from scratch, one could simple continue where one left off.


The book doesn’t feel very comprehensive and I felt the tips were mostly a matter of reframing. However, this reframing solved many of my mental objections to get started. While I already was on my way to change my mindset, I think this book reinforced the changes. And that was exactly what I needed. As such, I think it was a great book and would recommend it to anyone who is in a similar position.






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