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Show Your Work Even Though Haters Gonna Hate

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Austin Kleon pretty much starts out his book with the concept by Honore de Balzac: "For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed" and I feel like this really applies to me and cheesily ties into Kleon's title Show Your Work. Just SHOW YOUR WORK. This is something that a lot of people have a hard time doing. I know for me specifically, I was always that person in the back of every creative writing class I've ever taken finding excuses like "It's not finished," "It's too short," "It's too long," or my personal favorite--"I don't think I did the assignment right."

Amateur Sommelier

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I am an amateur sommelier. By amateur, I absolutely mean amateur in one of the ways Austin Kleon laid out, "the enthusiast who pursues her work in the spirit of love". (15) I've always enjoyed wine, an interest I think that stemmed from the exploration of a middle school friend's parent's impressive wine cellar; while many others were playing Guitar Hero we were reading the labels of some of the finest wines I will probably ever lay my eyes on (it was strictly observational, I assure you). What was an odd interest for a 13 year old developed into an affinity for many different kinds of wine, and a curiosity about their origins and the distinctive flavors you could extract from a single sip.

Hearing Our Own Voices

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Austin Kleon has got a lot to say about finding one's voice, and just by looking at the success he's attained from books such as 2014's Show Your Work!, its pretty easy to see why we should listen to him about it. KleonIn an age where one's voice is echoed the world over through modern mediums, our author depicts a great disadvantage in not expressing oneself through channels such as, quite broadly, the internet. Later, Kleon speaks of the importance of "be[ing] your own documentarian," and taking careful note of the progress you make as both a thinker and a craftsman of ideas.

Scared to Share

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Although this was mentioned in the Calendar, I have to agree that the most interensting part to jump out at me was Austin Kleon’s discussion on amateurs. He mentions that, “creativity is always, in some sense, a collaboration, the result of a mind connected to other minds,” making even famous people such as Beethoven and Ghandi seem just as human and relatable as us (page 11). This makes it easier for me to write poetry and then present it to the rest of my workshop class. Kleon makes it seem like it is acceptable and even productive to share your creativity process with others among you so that you learn and can progress. He says, “Amateurs are not afraid to make mistakes or look ridiculous in public.

Amateur Guitarist

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Kleon’s “Show Your Work” really elicits a sigh of relief, and particularly from college students. Perhaps we are the most acutely aware of our being unqualified for “real world success.”
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This is the first time I’ve ever been encouraged to embrace my amateur-ness, and that, for one, is an assignment I feel fully capable of doing. I’m an amateur. I’m a dreamer deep down and a recovering perfectionist, and those two qualities want to cancel the other out.

Amateur Traveling

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I’m an amateur traveler. I can figure my way from point A to be B better than most, walk through several airport concourses with the familiarity and comfort of a second home, and know what brand of champagne is cheapest in several different countries. On the other hand, my sense of direction is sometimes seriously lacking, my complete lack of coordination results in many accidents, and I have seen maybe 1% of this Earth. I am an amateur because I still have an infinite number of things to learn. I am an amateur because traveling is my passion.