Corentin Derbré


Show Your Work! – Austin Kleon

ISBN: 076117897X
Date read: 2018-04-28
How strongly I recommend it: 8/10
(See my list of books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

I read that while searching for ways to know more interesting people. The book is short, well written and gets the idea accross. Just show your work (online)!

my notes

Almost all of the people I look up to and try to steal from today, regardless of their profession, have built sharing into their routine.

Imagine if your next boss didn’t have to read your résumé because he already reads your blog.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.

People really do want to see how the sausage gets made.

sharing your process might actually be most valuable if the products of your work aren’t easily shared, if you’re still in the apprentice stage of your work, if you can’t just slap up a portfolio and call it a day, or if your process doesn’t necessarily lead to tangible finished products.

You have to turn the invisible into something other people can see.

Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you’ll start meeting some amazing people.

Once a day, after you’ve done your day’s work, go back to your documentation and 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.

“What are you working on?” Stick to that question and you’ll be good. Don’t show your lunch or your latte; show your work.

90 percent of everything is crap. The same is true of our own work.

The trouble is, we don’t always know what’s good and what sucks. That’s why it’s important to get things in front of others and see how they react.

Of course, don’t let sharing your work take precedence over actually doing your work.

If you’re having a hard time balancing the two (work and sharing), just set a timer for 30 minutes.

Ask yourself, “Is this helpful? Is it entertaining? Is it something I’d be comfortable with my boss or my mother seeing?”

If you get one thing out of this book make it this: Go register a domain name. Buy www.[insert your name here].com.

Don’t let it fall into neglect. Think about it in the long term. Stick with it, maintain it, and let it change with you over time.

Where do you get your inspiration? What sorts of things do you fill your head with? What do you read? Do you subscribe to anything? What sites do you visit on the Internet? What music do you listen to? What movies do you see? Do you look at art? What do you collect? What’s inside your scrapbook? What do you pin to the corkboard above your desk? What do you stick on your refrigerator? Who’s done work that you admire? Who do you steal ideas from? Do you have any heroes? Who do you follow online? Who are the practitioners you look up to in your field?

“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you f—ing like something, like it.”

When you share your taste and your influences, have the guts to own all of it.

The number one rule of the Internet: People are lazy.

Attribution without a link online borders on useless: 99.9 percent of people are not going to bother Googling someone’s name.

Stories are such a powerful driver of emotional value that their effect on any given object’s subjective value can actually be measured objectively.

You should be able to explain your work to a kindergartner, a senior citizen, and everybody in between.

Strike all the adjectives from your bio. If you take photos, you’re not an “aspiring” photographer, and you’re not an “amazing” photographer, either. You’re a photographer. Don’t get cute. Don’t brag. Just state the facts.

If you want to get, you have to give. If you want to be noticed, you have to notice.

It is actually true that life is all about “who you know.”

“Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is a form of suicide.” If you spend your life avoiding vulnerability, you and your work will never truly connect with other people.

If an opportunity comes along that will allow you to do more of the kind of work you want to do, say Yes. If an opportunity comes along that would mean more money, but less of the kind of work you want to do, say No.

Throw opportunities their way.

© 2018 Corentin Derbré.