Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Amateurs are not afraid to make mistakes or look ridiculous in public. They're in love, so they don't hesitate to do work that others think of as silly or just plain stupid.

Become a documentarian of what you do.

But now I realize that the only way to find your voice is to use it. It’s hardwired, built into you. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow.

But whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way.

Don’t talk to people you don’t want to talk to, and don’t talk about stuff you don’t want to talk about.

Don't think of your website as a self-promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine.

Don’t try to be hip or cool. Being open and honest about what you like is the best way to connect with people who like those things, too.

Everybody says they want artists to make money and then when they do, everybody hates them for it. The word sellout is spit out by the bitterest, smallest parts of ourselves. Don't be one of those horrible fans who stops listening to your favorite band just because they have a hit single. Don't write off your friends because they've had a little bit of success. Don't be jealous when the people you like do well - celebrate their victory as if it's your own.

Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.

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

If you believe in the lone genius myth, creativity is an antisocial act, performed by only a few great figures — mostly dead men with names like Mozart, Einstein, or Picasso. The rest of us are left to stand around and gawk in awe at their achievements. Under the "scenius" model, great ideas are often birthed by a group of creative individuals — artists, curators, thinkers, theorists, and other tastemakers — who make up an “ecology of talent.” Being a valuable part of a scenius is not necessarily about how smart or talented you are, but about what you have to contribute—the ideas you share, the quality of the connections you make, and the conversations you start. If we forget about genius and think more about how we can nurture and contribute to a scenius, we can adjust our own expectations and the expectations of the worlds we want to accept us. We can stop asking what others can do for us, and start asking what we can do for others.

Think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others. Find a scenius, pay attention to what others are sharing, and then start taking note of what they’re not sharing. Be on the lookout for voids that you can fill with your own efforts, no matter how bad they are at first. . . . Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.

it’s not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to be findable.

It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.

Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple.

Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple. Don’t

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.

Part of the art of creating is in discovering your own kind. They are everywhere. But don't look for them in the wrong places"
Henry Miller

As you put yourself and your work out there, you will run into your fellow knuckleballers. These are your real peers-the people who share your obsessions, the people who share a similar mission to your own, the people with whom you share a mutual respect. There will only be a handful or so of them, but they're so, so important. Do what you can to nurture your relationships with these people. Show them work before you show anybody else. Keep them as close as you can.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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.” —Steve Jobs

Stock and flow” is an economic concept that writer Robin Sloan has adapted into a metaphor for media: “Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people you exist. Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today.

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

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.

The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” —Annie Dillard

The real gap is between doing nothing and doing something.

The world is changing at such a rapid rate that it’s turning us all into amateurs.

the worst troll is the one that lives in your head.

To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished artwork. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experience of shaping the artwork.

to be “interest-ing” is to be curious and attentive, and to practice “the continual projection of interest.” To put it more simply: If you want to be interesting, you have to be interested.

We all love things that other people think are garbage. You have to have the courage to keep loving your garbage, because what makes us unique is the diversity and breadth of our influences, the unique ways in which we mix up the parts of culture others have deemed “high” and the “low.”

When you find things you genuinely enjoy, don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about it. Don’t feel guilty about the pleasure you take in the things you enjoy. Celebrate them.

You can’t be content with mastery; you have to push yourself to become a student again.

Your influences are all worth sharing because they clue people in to who you are and what you do—sometimes even more than your own work.