Hi peeps! Greetings from Zach.
Welcome aboard our second reading marathon of the year!
As readers, we too often classify reading to be a solitary activity as opposed to a shared experience. That's why I've really been impressed by your preparedness to step out of the comfort zone, the act of which, in itself, is phenomenal. So here, I want to give you huge applause, to celebrate this magical moment when we shift from solitary reading to keeping each other company. In doing this, we already embark on a journey of mapping "meaning connections". Yes, there is something heroic in each and every soul of this group, and I'm more than excited to see how much difference we're going to make of them, as a voracious community.
Before we formally start turning our pages, I believe there are tangible problems we face, and how to connect our input with output, during and after reading, has always been a most baffling one. Keeping efficient journals, book notes, having webinars...though it comes in all forms, the ultimate goal is to provoke our thoughts and form authentic mental framework. In this sense, I would like to share a literature journal template introduced by Ali Abdaal. Instead of focusing on direct quotes of the author, this template encourages us to synthesise messages and paraphrase languages so that we can all prioritise understanding as opposed to simply memorising or parroting words and quotes.
Now as I present you with this template, again, I want to emphasise that a book note template is only a means to an end, and this is simply for reference and not compulsory. I would appreciate it if you already have a cherished handful of toolkits available and prefer to stick to it. It's even more helpful if you'd like to share it to us, by writing replies directly under this post. If not, I'm more than happy that this can serve as a great tool for you to start with, and you can modify it wherever necessary.
I hope you enjoy it and find it useful to complement your current skillset.
The following book notes are adapted from a template journal by Ali Abdaal of the book Show Your Work
This Chapter in 3 Sentences
- Share your thoughts and your process and your work, online, for free.
- You don’t need to be an expert to share your work - beginners can easily help other beginners.
- By sharing your work online, you’ll attract an audience of people who care about the same stuff you do - this can change your life.
This is one of the three chapters that most changed my life
It completely changed the way I thought about sharing stuff online, and encouraged me to start my blog in January 2016.
How the Chapter Changed Me
How my life / behaviour / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.
• It made me more comfortable with sharing my thoughts and my work online
• It made me generally more comfortable with putting myself 'out there'
• It made me start my blog
• Starting the blog was the first step to starting my YouTube channel a year later, and the YouTube channel changed my life
My Top 3 Quotes
• Amateurs know that contributing something is better than contributing nothing
• Carving out a space for yourself online, somewhere where you can express yourself and share your work, is still one of the best possible investments you can make with your time
• The minute you learn something, turn around and teach it to others. Share your reading list. Point to helpful reference materials. Create some tutorials and post them online. Use pictures, words, and video. Take people step-by-step through part of your process. As blogger Kathy Sierra says, “make people better at something they want to be better at”
Summary + Notes
A new way of operating
The world has changed. It’s no longer enough to just make stuff and hope that people find it. You have to be findable.
Think of your work as a never-ending process. You can share your process in a way that attracts others.
Imagine if your next boss didn’t have to read your résumé because he already reads your blog. Imagine being a student and getting your first gig based on a school project you posted online. Imagine losing your job but having a social network of people familiar with your work and ready to help you find a new one. Imagine turning a side project or a hobby into your profession because you had a following that could support you.
Or imagine something simpler and just as satisfying: spending the majority of your time, energy, and attention practicing a craft, learning a trade, or running a business, while also allowing for the possibility that your work might attract a group of people who share your interests.
All you have to do is show your work.
1. You don’t have to be a genius
Find a Scenius - We need to move away from the lone genius myth of creativity.
“Scenius” is a healthier way to think about creativity - “a whole scene of people supporting each other, looking at each other’s work, copying from each other, stealing ideas, and contributing ideas”.
Anyone can contribute to the scenius. You don’t have to be an expert.
Be an Amateur - Sometimes, amateurs have more to teach us than experts. An amateur understands the beginners mind. The expert doesn’t.
Find something you want to learn. And learn it in front of others. Share your process. Share your successes, and more importantly, your failures. Help others who want to be on the same path.
2. Think process, not product
Take people behind the scenes - The finished product model of creativity is a relic of the pre-digital era. Where the only way artists could find an audience for their work was to show the finished product in all its glory. The internet has changed this. People really do want to see how the sausage gets made. Audiences want to see the person behind the product.
Become a documentarian of what you do - As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “document, don’t create”. Share screenshots as you’re going along. Take photos of your process. Write down your thoughts in a notebook. Whether you share it or not, documenting your process has its own rewards.