Show your work. Seriously. Why are you writing or drawing or painting if you’re not going to show your work? Austin Kleon’s book called Show Your Work tells us how to do just that.
I first learned about this book during a chat in the 10 Minute Novelists Facebook group. At that point, I followed along with the chat, but it definitely piqued my interest. When Christmas rolled around, I asked for the book as a gift.
A summary of Show Your Work
This bright yellow, six inch by six inch book is easy to hold in your hands, and it’s an easy read, too. The book is ten tips of how to show your work and is full of quotes, photos, and other visuals which make the reading even easier and quicker.
Each of the ten tips has its own chapter, and each chapter is broken down into even shorter sections. Kleon uses positive, direct language to get his message across to the readers of Show Your Work.
What I learned from the book
I spent a few days reading this book because I only read ten to fifteen minutes a day as part of my morning routine. But it could be read within an hour or two depending upon how fast you read. In fact, after ten minutes, I found it hard to put the book down.
I liked how Kleon didn’t drag what he was saying on and on. He wrote what he was thinking and moved on. Kleon addresses us as the reader and pulled me into the book. I liked how I felt like he was talking directly to me.
Kleon used photos, quotes, and other visuals to back what he was saying. As a visual person, I enjoy books that use these kinds of things because the information sticks better in my head.
The photography was great and helped with the writing. I didn’t realize how much I enjoy an inspiring quote until I read a book like this one and see some good positive ones. I even wrote a couple of them in my planner so I could find them a little quicker and carry them with me every day.
One of my favorite things in the book was Kleon’s vampire test. He tells us to get rid of things, like people, hobbies, and jobs, that suck the energy out of us — that we need to get rid of it from our lives. I had already done that a little bit in my life, but his words made me clear out some other stuff.
Show Your Work makes me not afraid to put my writing out there. I’m getting better about taking my chances and sharing my writing with others. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be typing and posting this here, right?
I haven’t read Kleon’s first book, Steal Your Work, but I do know Show Your Work is a good book for any artist or writer. If you’re not sure how to best show your work — painting, drawing, story, or book, then this book is the fastest way to learn what to do. Now get busy and show your work!