Share what you make

It is not easy to put your work out there, making yourself and your work vulnerable to others’ judgement. Especially in your early stages, when you are yourself unsure about what you’re doing. Negative criticism, or worse, silence and indifference from others, can feel highly demoralizing.

It is easy therefore to retreat in your shell, not sharing your work with anyone else, keeping your art to yourself. Your mistakes are only for you to see, and your triumphs as well are only for you to see.

Yet, if you do end up sharing your work, it is indeed surprising what kind of connections it opens up. In many ways, your work is your signal to the world about who you are. What you choose to spend your time on tells others about your interests, your preferences, your values. And slowly what you begin to see is that sharing your work, no matter how amateurish it might be, begins to attract others with similar interests to you.

I do book binding as a hobby and there are numerous book binders out there who are much better than me at this. And yet, my blog has helped me connect with others in ways I would not have guessed. For eg: A colleague of mine found my blog while searching for something on bookbinding, and then pinged me about it when she found out that both her and I had this common interest. It’s so good to have a friend at work with the same interest! In another instance, an old college friend discovered photos of my journals online, and pinged me to ask if she could get a few of them.

A similar pattern emerged in the past when I hosted a podcast for a while. The podcast helped me connect with others with similar interests – people I would have hardly had the chance to meet if I hadn’t started the podcast.

If you’re in the middle of a side project or a hobby – share it with others. Don’t be afraid, you really have nothing to lose. Most people will ignore it. But the ones who don’t will make it worth it.

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