Why should you share your work with other people? Should you sell your work?
Sharing your work can be scary, but Seth Godin believes it’s necessary if you want to be a better creative person. One of the benefits is receiving useful feedback that can improve your work.
Read below why you should consider sharing your work with the world.
Share Your Work and Make Improvements
In The Practice, Seth Godin says it’s important to share your work regularly, on a schedule. Promising to deliver your work can help you be creative, and sharing your work allows you to receive feedback from your audience. Engaging with your audience is important because it will either give them something they want, or it will teach you what’s not working with what you created.
(Shortform note: Austin Kleon espouses a different view in Steal Like an Artist. He cautions against sharing your work when you’re just starting out. He says anonymity is an asset for a beginning artist because it gives you the freedom to experiment as much as you want. Once you become well-known, your audience will expect a certain type of art from you, which can have the effect of backing you into a creative corner.)
When you share your work, some of it might work for some people, but not others; some of it might not work at all. The goal is not to get reassurance from your audience; it’s to incorporate useful feedback to make your work better.
Godin points out that a lot of criticism isn’t worth paying attention to. This includes criticism from internet trolls or people who aren’t your intended audience. For example, people who like meandering, lyrical ballads aren’t going to like your rap music, so it doesn’t matter what they have to say.
The only criticism worth paying attention to is criticism from people who tell you what’s not working for them without indicting you personally.
Sell Your Work
Selling is often seen as crass and undesirable, but Godin believes that if you create things that serve others, selling those things can change the world for the better. In addition, if people have to pay for your work, they’re more invested in it—they’re more likely to value it and share it with others. And of course, money also allows you to support yourself so you can continue creating.
Better clients expect more from you and lead to better work, so part of selling your work is making the effort to get better clients.
(Shortform note: There is no shortage of options for selling your creative work online. In addition to dozens of online marketplaces, such as Etsy for makers of all kinds and Redbubble or Society6 for artists, you can also use social media and your own website to promote and sell your work. For example, you could include samples of your copywriting or editing work on your website. You could attract new customers using Instagram. You could also use videos on sites like YouTube or TikTok to perform your music, display your creative work, or otherwise engage your potential paying audience.)