Don’t Turn Into Human Spam

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.

Shut Up and Listen

On the continuum of sharing, hoarder and spammer sit on the opposite ends of the spectrum. The real contributor is somewhere in the middle.

Before you can be a contributor where other people notice your work, you have to first notice another person’s work.

Great art is rarely done in a vacuum. Great art is usually a collaborative effort.

Another word, if you want fans, you have to be a fan first. If you want to get, you have to give first.

You Want Hearts, not Eyeballs

Stop worrying about how many connections you have and start working on the quality of the connections.

Clout and quality connections are achieved only by being good at what you do.

Kleon said, “Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple.”

The Vampire Test

How do you know what stuff you will enjoy doing and talking about?

Do things or put yourself in environments that increase your energy level.

Avoid things or environments that drain your energy.

Scott Adams also talked about the one-and-only “Energy Metric” that matters in his books, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.”

Identify Your Fellow Knuckle Ballers

Kleon said that the knuckleball pitchers are basically the ugly ducklings of baseball. Even though there are so few of them, they love to share their approaches and secrets with fellow knuckleball pitchers.

As we put our work and ourselves out there, seek out our own “fellow knuckleballers.” These are our real peers – the people who share our obsessions, similar missions, and a mutual respect.

Keep them as close as we can.

Meet up in Meatspace

As social species, the online social network is OK but there is no substitute for making connections face-to-face.