Book Cover
Show Your Work!

★ ★ ★ ★

TL;DR: If you build it, they will not come. They need to see it somehow. Show as many people as possible what you’re working on. In the modern world, this is more important and easier to do than ever. You will reap the benefits.


  • It’s not enough to be good. in order to be found, you have to be findable. I think there’s an easy way of putting your work out there and making it discoverable while you’re focused on getting really good at what you do. (L21)

1. You Don’t Have to Be a Genius

  • Greatness doesn’t happen in isolation. Always collaboration
  • Scenius: great group of creative individuals form an “ecology of talent” from whence springs inspiration. (L50)
  • Be an amateur.
    • Even if you’re good, take this attitude to continue your growth.
    • The fellow pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago he has forgotten.” (L67)

2. Think Process, Not Product

  • Document everything you do
    • Keep track of everything, both for retention and for traceability.

3. Share Something Small Every Day

  • Daily update. Even just try and think of one thing you learned.
    • [Tiger: start journaling again? Yeah when it’s set up on blog]
  • Flow to stock
    • Robin Sloan: “Flow is the feed […] stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time. The magic formula is to maintain your flow while working on your stock in the background.” (L266)
    • Blog is good for this

4. Open Up Your Cabinet of Curiosities

  • I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you fucking like something, like it. - Dave Grohl
  • Go where you want. You’ll be able to find value there.

5. Tell Good Stories

  • If you want to be more effective when sharing yourself and your work, you need to become a better storyteller. (L391)
  • Plot formula from John Gardner:
    • Character wants something
    • Character goes for it despite opposition (perhaps including his own doubts)
    • Character arrives at a win, lose, or draw
    • This formula applies to many many things in life.

6. Teach What You Know

  • Don’t worry about thieves. That’s just stupid.
  • When you share your knowledge and your work with others. you receive an education in return when people tell you all the things that are related that you should get into.

7. Don’t Turn Into Human Spam

  • The Vampire Test: if after hanging out with someone or doing something, you feel worn out and depleted, that thing is a vampire. If you feel full of energy, it is not a vampire. (L560)
    • Make sure to distinguish depleted and fulfilled from depleted and discouraged
  • Meet up in real life!

8. Learn to Take a Punch

  • Relax and breathe
  • Strengthen your neck. Get punched a lot. You’ll get used to it and see it isn’t so bad.
  • Roll with the punches. You can’t control everyone’s reaction to your shit.
  • Protect your vulnerable areas (but try not to have too many)

9. Sell Out.

  • Bruh. Money still makes the world go round.
  • Don’t be jealous when the people you like do well–celebrate their victory as if it’s your own. (661)
  • Be as generous as you can, but selfish enough to get your work done. (L724)

10. Stick Around

  • It’s a game of attrition. Survivors win.
  • Chain-smoking: instead of taking a break in between projects, waiting for feedback, and worrying about what’s next, use the end of one project to light up the next one. Just do the work that’s in front of you, and when it’s finished, ask yourself what you missed, what you could’ve done better, or what you couldn’t get to, and jump right into the next project. (L768)