Sharing despite self-doubt

Learn Create Share 18: a creative challenge, Krakens, note systems, writing advice, productivity and more.

“Your problem,” my brother explained “is the same as mine. We’re bad at self-promotion because we were taught not to be boastful.”

My brother’s words came as we discussed the pros and cons of freelance work. As a freelancer, you have to self-promote to find clients, and as a creator, you have to share your work if you want it seen.

You can choose to keep your art and work to yourself — that’s a perfectly acceptable option, especially when you are starting out — but the brave act of sharing helps the whole community.

Sharing your SFD, with all its mistakes, may encourage someone to keep going after their early attempts have failed. Sharing an interesting idea may inspire a remix that is truly groundbreaking.

Sharing doesn’t have to be boastful, but it is an easy trap to fall into.

Maybe my brother was wrong and I’ve grown better at self-promotion. After all, I’m sharing this newsletter with you! But I still have moments of struggle. Where I think “who cares? Why should I bother? This is just for the likes and my ego, right?”

I’m sure there’s some truth in my doubt — and there are certainly times when it’s all ego — but I know how much I value the posts, videos and podcasts other people share.

So I will keep taking a risk and “showing my work”.

I hope you will do the same.

Creative Challenge: Make a phone wallpaper

Every now and then, it’s fun to shake up your phone wallpaper, especially with a self-created wallpaper. You’re free to take on this challenge however you want, but here are some prompts if you need or want them. They all use your phone, the end display, to create the wallpaper.

  • Take a picture

  • Download Paper or a similar free drawing app, and draw a simplified self portrait.

  • Write a quote with your finger.

  • In a drawing app with layers (like Procreate pocket or Linea) import a photo, then sketch over the top.

  • Use a word processing app and find a stylish font. Type out a quote. Take a screenshot, then import it into a drawing/photo editing app with a texture as a background.

    If you really want, you could use an app like Canva.

    p.s. You can download a Learn Create Share wallpaper I made here.

40 Tips for Journalists

This single page graphic includes good writing advice which can even apply to life. As someone who writes for a living, it’s good to review solid writing principles and have some encouragement to be curious.

my favourites

  • Always get the name of the dog

  • In a nut graph, the import part is the nut, not the graph

  • Show AND tell

  • Don't let the powerful answer "mistakes were made"

  • With multimedia, compliment, don't compete

  • Trust is our most important asset

    See all 40

How to Stay Productive When the World Is on Fire

To help with ... [looks around]... all this. Wired wrote up some solid productivity and mental health advice. Here are the key points.

  • Take frequent breaks (I’ve been bad at this one. When I work from home I feel I should be glued to my desk. That’s wrong)

  • Set personal boundaries, and stick to them.

  • Use technology to help (ah the pomodorro technique)

  • Meter you media intake and spend time with loved ones.

  • Remember, you’re doing fine.

Bulletproof Notion Workspace 2.0

As part of my notes app investigation, I came across the bulletproof Notion workspace: a way to organise Notion to manage a team, or organise your life. I use some of these principles in my own Notion workspace but there are some ideas I might steal, especially the pages for buckets. is another notes app I have been experimenting with. It uses markdown files but lets you create bidirectional links. It’s free (with optional support) and you can use a cloud storage solution for your notes so you can create and edit on an iOS device (but not access the cool knowledge graph view).

Release the (Seattle) Kraken

I’ve been a bit of an Ice Hockey fan ever since I saw the mighty ducks on the silver screen. I love everything about the new NHL franchise’s brand. In Britain, we can sometimes joke about how over the top American sports teams names can be. If you’re going to go OTT, you might as well all the way.

Liam Neeson says ...

"Friends don't let friends measure page views."

I came across this quote in Algorithms to live by this week. The speaker was explaining that when ads are paid in views, it encourages bad, short-term focused internet behavior

  • Ad stuffing

  • Clickbait headlines and sensational articles

  • Slow, repeat loading slide shows

This quote concluded the point. It made me think about how I haven’t used any tracking on Sometimes it can feel a bit like shouting into the wind, you have no idea if anyone is listening or what they think, but it doesn’t really matter. A personal site should be for the writer and it helps encourage a healthy unprofessional attitude.

Hell Yes or No

Derek Sivers, founder of CD baby and writer of Anything You Want has a new book out called Hell Yes or No. The title is one of the principles he lays out in his Anything You Want and is essentially, “when you have built some reputation and get invited to many things, only say yes to opportunities that excite you to your core. Otherwise, it’s a no.”

I have had a chance to start the book yet — I’m finishing another couple — but I’m looking forward to reading it.

Substack alternatives

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