Thursday, 28 January 2016

Review: Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon.

Book: Show Your Work!

Author: Austin Kleon

Pages: 224

Read On: iPad

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 hours

Plot Summary: In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by stealing from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey getting known. Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time networking. It s not self-promotion, it s self-discovery let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive. In chapters such as You Don t Have to Be a Genius; Share Something Small Every Day; and Stick Around, Kleon creates a user s manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity what he calls the ecology of talent. From broader life lessons about work (you can t find your voice if you don t use it) to the etiquette of sharing and the dangers of oversharing to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), it s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age." 

General Thoughts: I heard so many amazing things about this book and it's author when this came out last year and I made a mental note to read it. I got around to this book only now, I want to read more non-fiction this year and I wanted to do so in the first month of the year. 

Things I Liked: 

1. I loved the writing style and more importantly the tone of this book. It was so conversational and easy to go through and never once felt preachy of heavy handed in it's advice. 

2. The book is full of inspiring quotes from creators in various fields--- writers, musicians, artists, painters and actors. I loved seeing so many inputs from so many creative folks. 

3. This was such a light and easy and quick read. I read it in under 3 hours and could all of it's advice in, in those 3 hours. 

4. The advice in this book is so doable. Nothing in this book is so out there that everyone ordinary person can't do it. In that sense this is a useful book, a very useful advice giver. 

5. The book talks of so many relevant things in today's digital world-- having a useful online presence, building communities online, what to share on our social media and having a blog or a dedicated online sphere. I found all of this very useful. 

6. The book also have a section dedicated to dealing with trolls and I found this especially interesting. 

7. There was so much positivity in this book, it talked about sharing your knowledge and spreading learning. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

Overall this was a good book and I felt very motivated and charged on finishing it. But as I put the book away and thought about how I felt about it...I realised overall I was a little underwhelmed. While there are several things in the book that I liked and that I took away from it, this wasn't a book that blew my mind. Also so much of the advice and tips and ideas of this book weren't 100% original or ground breaking. It was largely very commonsensical and things most people....experts or not would tell to do in aiding your creativity. Things like read more to be a better writer. Things one has heard before. 

It was still a good book and one I enjoyed but it didn't blow my mind or tell me something that I haven't heard before. But it's worth a read. 

Rating: 3/5 

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