You Don’t Have to be a Genius

In the follow-on book, Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Austin Kleon talks about the art-stealing process in reverse. Doing the giving rather than stealing. Here are my reflections on the topic in the book.

Find a Scenius

Very few of us are the lone geniuses who can create and succeed on his or her own alone.

Kleon suggests that, for most of us, creativity is always the result of a mind connected with other souls.

This debunks the image of creativity can only come from lone geniuses working alone and coming up with the one-and-only earth-shattering idea.

This also means that these days everyone – the artist and the curator, the master and the apprentice, the expert and the amateur – can contribute something.

Be an amateur

The knowledge gap is not so much about moving from mediocre to excellent. You can improve in increment. The real difference comes down to between doing nothing and doing something.

Kleon asserts that the world is changing at such a rapid rate that it is turning us all into amateurs. Working in the IT field, I can say this is undoubtedly true. Other technology-driven industries are experiencing the same phenomenon.

He further suggests, “Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.”

You Cannot Find Your Voice if You Don’t Use It

The Internet has created a tremendous platform for everyone to show off their work and allow others to see those work with just a few clicks.

Sharing is the best way to let people know what you do and the things you care about.

Read Obituaries

We all have a limited lifespan. At some point, nothing matters, and you want to be remembered for what you had stood for.

Kleon suggests we take inspiration from the people who muddled through life before us. They all started out as amateurs, and they got where they were going by making do with what they were given, and having the guts to put themselves out there.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to us.” –The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien