Show Your Work - Austin Kleon
- 3 min read

Show Your Work - Austin Kleon

This book will turn you into some type of content creator.

On this page

Personal Rating: 11/10.

My Thoughts

I read about 100 books a year. It covers various different disciplines and there are even more that I start but don’t finish. Occasionally I come across a book that gets my mind going so much that I instantly want to buy a handful more to give away. This is one of those books. The author, Austin Kleon, has made a masterpiece that, if I could sum up into one word, “permission.” I have wanted to get my ideas out there but have the same issues as everyone else. I deal with questions like, “But there is already so much out there.” “I haven’t studied out completely yet.” “I don’t have an online audience.” Kleon says that is the perfect place to get started. You will enjoy this book, but be warned. You’ll probably instantly go out and start a blog or YouTube channel. Happy creating.

The Book in Three Sentences

  1. Let others into your process—then let them steal from you.
  2. You can’t find your voice if you don’t use it.
  3. Share without oversharing (think work; not workouts).

The Five Big Ideas

  1. Almost all of the people Austin looks up to and tries to steal from today, regardless of their profession, have built sharing into their routine.
  2. “Amateurs know that contributing something is better than contributing nothing.”
  3. “The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others.”
  4. If your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.
  5. Become a documentarian of what you do.

Other Opinion

Amazon Bio

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.


“‘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.”
“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
“Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.”
“It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.”
“Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you’ll start meeting some amazing people.” —Bobby Solomon
“If you want followers, but the kind of person worth following.”
“Small things, over time, can get big.”
“I thought, I’m not going to sit here and wait for things to happen, I’m going to make them happen, and if people think I’m an idiot I don’t care.”
“Keep your balance. You have to remember that your work is something you do, not who you are. This is especially hard for artists to accept, as so much of what they do is personal. Keep close to your family, friends, and the people who love you for you, not just the work.”


Show Your Work