• Woody

Day 237

Updated: Dec 15, 2019


Show Your Work is another home run from Austin Kleon. I'm not opting for an immediate re-read like I did with his other two books, but I am certain I will read it again in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I feel like I am in the heart of showing my own work and living a lot of the ideas he presents.

Of the three books from Kleon that I have read, Show Your Work isn't as broadly applicable, but equally as practical and impactful for the artist, writer, or someone specifically involved in other creative endeavors.

I especially appreciate his humor, and his originality.

Originality is an interesting way to describe a guy who has a section in another book titled "Nothing Is Original" (Steal Like An Artist, ch. 1), but his way of unapologetically using the thoughts and ideas of others to both formulate and support his own thoughts and ideas is unique, if not original.

My favorite chapter in Show Your Work is titled, Don't Turn In To Human Spam. Kleon has a paragraph describing human spam; this sentence stuck out to me:

"They don't want to listen to your ideas; they want to tell you theirs."

He urges the reader to "Shut up and listen."

"The world owes none of us anything."

Be Genuine. Be interested. Pay your dues. Be a giver.

Connect with other people in real life, not just on the line.

"Identify your fellow knuckleballers."

"Keep them as close as you can."

Don't be human spam because, if you are, people will just delete you from their real lives, just like they do in their virtual lives on the internet.

Be a real person, have real relationships, do real things.

Show Your Work



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