On Saturday, 16 May, I read Austin Kleon‘s book Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. He wrote:
When I have the privilege of talking to my readers, the most common questions they ask me are about self-promotion. How do I get my stuff out there? How do I get noticed? How do I find an audience? How did you do it? I hate talking about self-promotion. Comedian Steve Martin famously dodges these questions with the advice, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If you just focus on getting really good, Martin says, people will come to you. I happen to agree: You don’t really find an audience for your work; they find you. But it’s not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to be findable. I think there’s an easy way of putting your work out there and making it discoverable while you’re focused on getting really good at what you do….
Become a documentarian of what you do. Start a work journal: Write your thoughts down in a notebook, or speak them into an audio recorder. Keep a scrapbook. Take a lot of photographs of your work at different stages in your process. Shoot video of you working. This isn’t about making art, it’s about simply keeping track of what’s going on around you. Take advantage of all the cheap, easy tools at your disposal—these days, most of us carry a fully functional multimedia studio around in our smartphones. Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording your process as you go along has its own rewards: You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress. And when you’re ready to share, you’ll have a surplus of material to choose from.
While the book is short and easily consumed in an hour or so, its wisdom takes longer to digest.
I decided to do an experiment of showing my work with a Daily Dispatch on Twitter. Before you see all of the Daily Dispatches, let me first tell you 4 few things I learned in the experiment.