“All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.” – Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist
“No one is going to give a damn about your resume – that want to see what you made.” – Austin Kleon, Show Your Work
After listening to Seth Godin’s interview on the Tim Ferriss Show in early 2016 I have had the idea of starting a blog in my mind.Seth argues that everyone should have a blog because it puts you on the hook to notice things and to articulate ideas you produce. What was most attractive to me about this, as a consumer of books and podcasts, is that it would force me to produce ideas in addition to taking them in.
Since then I created one blog writing about customer service that I gave up on in 2017, but recommitted to the practice about a year ago with the commitment of having one post per week. It just had to be something simple that I had learned for the week, that I would be willing to share with the interwebs. Now with over 52 posts in the rear-view mirror I reflected on what this practice has brought into my world.
The most apparent benefit is the pre-loaded thoughts I can share. I have found it much easier to talk about the ideas in a book with someone after already reflecting and writing about it. The second benefit, specific to sharing work, is that it is like sending up a flare to the world on what you are interested in; unexpectedly I have been reconnected with people I haven’t spoken to in years simply because we are interested in similar ideas. Finally, the practice of writing each week has served as a great source of record keeping; not only am I able to share lessons learned with the interweb, but when it is time for my performance review it is easy to look back on some of the key learnings from the year and not fall victim to the recency bias.
Seth refers to keeping a blog as one of the top 5 professional decisions he has made. If you are on the fence and are not sure what to write about, I HIGHLY recommend picking up Austin Kleon’s books mentioned in the above quotes. I was writing for a couple months and not sharing with anyone until I read “Show Your Work”. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that there is a lot to be learned once you put yourself on the hook to do so.
Hook by Alex Fuller from the Noun Project