Show your work

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

The quote above is taken from page 67 of Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work, which I picked up at the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican in December and which pushed me over the edge to finally start this website/blog.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for several years but I always put some big barrier in the way, like “What will I write?” or “What will people say?” or I felt guilty in advance for spending time writing, it felt self-indulgent.

Show Your Work helped me see what I already knew but wouldn’t accept:

  • Write about your work, write about what you care about
  • This is the way to find people who like my work and who care about what I care about
  • Doing this is an offering to the world and is also a necessary part of my creative process

One month into my blogging journey and I haven’t yet done what I said I was going to do. I haven’t shown my work, I haven’t been authentic.

Blogging has forced me to ask myself: What is my work?

My life is my work. But what does that mean? In an attempt to begin to show my work, I have created a Now page.

As well as my work in the world, there’s the work I’m more shy about, at least in print. The work on self. My constant daily work to be a better dad, a better husband, a better friend, a better citizen, a better human. The work of self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-love.

Austin Kleon recommends sharing a small piece of your work each day. I like that idea, but I’m not quite there yet. Watch this space!

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