Before You Start Your Coding Journey, Read Show Your Work
You’ll Thank Yourself Later
Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work, is a short (215 pages), simple piece of work. It has some of the best advice on how to get into the creative tech field that I’ve ever read.
“Creating something is a long, uncertain process. A maker should show their work.” Austin Kleon
Why Is It Important?
For others to believe in you or like what you do, you need to show that you exist.
‘You Don’t Have to Be a Genius’
This one hit home for me. I always thought no one would care about me since I’m a newbie. Now, thanks to this book, I know that this line of thinking is utter trash. Say, “Hi, this is what I’m doing and here are my thoughts.” People may or not come, but what matters is that you went through with putting yourself out there.
‘Build/Share Something Small Everyday’
‘Tell Good Stories/Teach What You Know’
Start small. It doesn’t have to be one hundred pages long. Tell us about a new thing you learned today while on the train or something. Your first few stories will be crap and that’s a good thing. It means that you’re moving forward. If you don’t believe me, look for an online author that you like or follow and read their first articles. I guarantee you that they are not as good as the stuff they’re making now.
Try for at least five sentences and go from there. WordPress, Medium, Jekyll or Gatsby (if you’re more technologically inclined) are your best friends. Use them.
People Will Come at You
As you are well aware, you will have online haters for cashing in even though everyone (usually) says they want people to succeed. You’re going to have to learn how to separate the haters from the helpers.
Learn to Listen
For you to not be a jerk is to learn how to pay your dues; if you take something, credit the source. Learn to listen to others’ ideas because it could help concrete yours. Once you have a following on social media, try asking your audience a question on your interests and leave it for 24 hours. You might like what you find.
Don’t Hoard Your Stuff or Thoughts
How will you find your people if you do?
Remember, when you show your work, you’re more likely to be more enthusiastic about it and will do it.
I’ll leave you with some all too true words from Honoré de Balzac:
“For Artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed.”
Please note: the section titles with quotes are part of the table of contents or quotes from the book.