How I’m Doing Things Differently

Sharing my creative process

Over the years I have spent so much time formalising my writing into articles and blog posts, carefully crafting, editing, revising. But that’s not how I want to do things anymore after reading Austin Kleon’s book Show your work’. In it he advises Think Process, Not Product.’

Sharing the process allows for connection

Austin says that by letting go of our egos and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work”

This! This is what I want. After all, I know that there is an art to what I do. And I know that there are people who will be interested in that art. So sharing my writing, and thinking process allows the connection with people along the way rather than when I have finished’1.

Sharing more, more often

Creating something takes time. A lot of time. Like, shit loads of time. So. Much. Freakin’. Time. But I have so many notes, links and connections that may help someone else right now.

So rather than sharing when I am 100% finished (and I know some writing projects may even be abandoned), I want to share what I have…NOW!

And because I am a compulsive note-taker and note-make, I can share much more, more often when I am thinking process, not product.

Tricking my ego

As a lifelong learner I appreciate that everything is a work-in-progress. But I have let my perfectionism get in the way for far too long causing me to stress over sharing anything less-than-perfect.

And honestly, I am so done with the pressure to get everything right immediately and to create a post that supports my brand’ (whatever the hell that’s meant to be)2. Hence the way I post on this website is in part, a trick to play on my ego as it gives me the permission to post my incomplete thoughts and disorganised notes…in public.

Instead I want to test ideas, get feedback, and revise my opinions along the way. I want to show my work, my process and help people realise that I am an equally mediocre human doing The Work of trying to understand the world and make sense of it alongside you” (Maggie Appleton). Hence that brings me to my next point…

Learning in Public

Learn in Public; the practice of sharing what you learn as you’re learning it, not a decade later once you’re an”expert”3

(note re: expert”) A label you may never officially earn unless you’re in a highly structured and bureaucratised industry that loves explicit hierarchy rankings. The rest of us are left to deal with perpetual imposter syndrome.” — Maggie Appleton

I know nothing. Seriously! The more I learn, the less I know. Which means that I am always learning. And learning is scary. It makes you feel inadequate. A beginner. Not good enough.

Which is exactly why I refused to share some of my work in the past because I was worried about being judged by other people. And it is this fear that has led me to sharing my creative process and learning in public.

Wait…What?

Surely I am more likely to be judged for not knowing enough when I am being open in this way? Maybe. Maybe not. Let me explain…

Benefits to Learning in Public (I hope)

I have a few reasons for wanting to learn in public:

1. I will not be an expert

I hate that word. Like, really hate it. And I want others to know that I am not an expert in any field (despite being called it many times). I simply put in the hours (and hours) to figure shit out. Honestly, no experts here!

2. There is no room for shame

Sometimes there is a shame to not knowing something. We always feel that everyone else knows more than we do and will be judged for not knowing. But as Brené Brown said…

If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.”

Learning is usually done in secrecy. In silence. And often with (our own) judgements. But because I know I have the most amazing, empathetic people who follow what I do, I know there is no shame to me learning in public.

3. A source of truth

We have all been trained to present ourselves a certain way in digital spaces. You know what I mean, right? Perfect. Clean. Filtered. But that’s not the truth when it comes to learning.

Learning has rough edges. It’s messy. And disorganised. And scary. That’s why I want to learn in public and share my creative process with you. To show you what’s really behind the scenes. To show you the truth.

4. Learning along with with me

I always believed that I needed to know more than anyone else. That I needed to know it before anyone else. Like it was some sort of, competition. As if all the knowledge in the world was a piece of pie and teaching something to someone else took away my slice of the knowledge. That I needed to keep everything to myself4. What a load of bullcrap! To quote Austin Kleon:

Teaching people doesn’t subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it. When you teach someone how to do your work, you are, in effect, generating more interest in your work. People feel closer to your work because you’re letting them in on what you know

Hence, it is my intention to share everything I learn, and continue to learn…with you! So the minute I learn something, I am going to turn around and teach it to you. And I’m hoping in doing so it will not only be intimate and public but weird and welcoming too.

What this means

However in sharing my creative process and learning in public, that does mean 3 things:

1. Posts are always open to revision and expansion

Posts on my site are not 100% complete. And nor will they ever be. They are a work in progress, living documents that are designed to evolve alongside my understanding. 

After all, the more I am open to learning in public, the more mistakes I will openly make. Which means that I will need to correct, amend  and edit as I continue sharing my creative process with you. 

And because they are an imperfect presentation of what I know at this moment in time, it means that when I do learn something else, they will inevitably need revising. Again. And again. And again.

2. My posts are not a set of polished, carefully crafted posts

As I have already said, I am working hard at letting go of my inner critic and perfectionism, something that can often paralyse my creative process. As a result you will not find a set of polished, carefully crafted posts for the majority of my posts.

They are not pretty. They will not have images just for the sake of making things look nice5. They will have spelling mistakes and be grammatically incorrect, especially when they are in the early stages. But they will change. They will be corrected, moved around and linked to other posts. They will evolve. And so this brings me to my final point…

3. Please be kind!

Again these posts on my website are not complete or representative of my best work. Instead they are often a way for me to share my own interests and current state of knowledge6.

But as it is my website, I have a right to be wrong or incomplete in my writing (either due to lack of time or knowledge). And so I ask politely that you will not hold this against me. Because I will keep learning and the site will keep evolving…with your help.

Feedback and sharing is welcome - that is the whole point of this being public! You are expressly welcome to message me, counter-argue, or disagree with anything here. And I promise I will listen to you (even if I do not agree). I will be especially grateful if you could suggest what else I should include, read, watch, or listen to.

But please, please, always remember to be kind.


  1. btw if you’re one of the ones who love to see the process…let me know!↩︎

  2. I guess after making the best mistake ever I don’t have to worry about what that actually means any more!↩︎

  3. Quote is from Maggie Appleton who wrote a A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden”.↩︎

  4. I guess this links to the feeling of shame, inadequacy and perfectionism?↩︎

  5. So much time has been wasted trying to find the perfect’ image. Seriously. I mean I have often spent more time looking for the right image to go with something I have written than the writing itself. Talk about backwards.↩︎

  6. So if you have the same interests, then this space is also yours to use as a reference.↩︎


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Date
November 9, 2022