Show Your Work – part 7

Don’t turn into human spam

Shut up and listen

Participate in the community you’re trying to join. Go to shows, read journals, and get to know what’s out there already.
Art without feedback is only half-done; if you want to get, you have to give.
Be thoughtful, be considerate, be open.

“The writing community is full of […] people who want to be published in journals even though they don’t even read the magazines they want to be published in. These people deserve the rejections that they will undoubtedly receive.”

Dan Chaon

You want hearts, not eyeballs

As with many things, the quality of your followers is more important than the quantity. Accruing 10 people who talk with you and interact with your work is better than 100 or 1000 followers who might as well be bots or dead accounts.
Faffing about, following people you don’t care about, talking about things you don’t care about isn’t going to get you anywhere you want to go.
Be “interest-ing” – have interests, be curious, pay attention. Be interested.

The vampire test

“Whatever excites you, go do it. Whatever drains you, stop doing it.” – Derek Sivers Get rid of anything – jobs, people, hobbies – that leave you feeling drained and tired. They don’t add anything of value to your life.

Identify your fellow knuckleballers

A knuckleball is a slow, awkward pitch that’s really hard to throw with any kind of consistency, and is equally unpredictable to the batter, the catcher and the pitcher. Given that it’s so hard to throw reliably, knuckleball pitchers get together and share tips and advice, even when they’re on opposing teams.
People who share your interests, your obsessions, your mission, are few and far between so, when you find them, hold them dear, collaborate often and keep them close.

Meet up in meatspace

Attend meetups, arrange meetups. If you’re travelling, let online friends know you’ll be in town. Ask them to show you around and try to convert online relationships into offline ones.