Show Your Work!A small blog to celebrate the creation of my website. The motivation behind it - to 'Show You Work'
So here we go! Finally!! After over a month of overthinking the design process, constantly revisiting the drawing board, not being sure if the drafts were over-designed or underdesigned, here we are with a simple functional website/personal blog.
I've always wanted to have a personal website, but I've been wary of having a "Portfolio Website". I didn't want it to be something I used to solely impress recruiters or be a secondary resume that could potentially show that I knew how to make a website. It didn't seem genuine. But regardless, I still wanted on
Recently I've been in a wave of trying to be more creative and constantly working on bettering myself. I've realized that it's hard to be confident with your creativity especially when you are an amateur in the area. It makes it harder to push something out and showcase it to the world when you're worried that It's not good enough. However, I was fortunate to come across the book 'Show Your Work!' by Austin Kleon through https://aliabdaal.com/, another productivity YouTuber. It's a book that teaches you that everyone is an amateur and that we need to think like one. The spirit of being an amateur fosters creativity by the inculcation of curiosity.
Here are a few points from the book:
The thought of It's not good enough is something that can keep you from ever putting things out into the world. This website for instance took me longer than needed. Constantly overthinking if it looked good enough, worrying if people would criticize it. Most times it's better to just push something out there. Doesn't have to be the entire thing, just a part of it. By pushing the smaller parts faster, you will be able to get quick feedback about the work you put in. You might realize something works better than the other, or you might get some very valuable feedback from a friend that could change things around completely. Showing your work often can build an arena for you to learn and become better at those skills. Building skills and not showing them to the world can hurt growth.
I encourage everyone one of you that is reading this to think of one thing that you've been wanting to do or work on so bad but haven't gotten down to doing it, come up with the smallest first action that you can take, and work on it. And then write a blog about it sharing your experiences. This is my first effort at doing so. Am I a genius in everything I do? No. But showing my work and articulating it helps me better understand it. Put something out there. Something that your heart loves, put it down as work or words and show it off to the world. Don't fall victim to the thought of It's not good enough.
My goal with this website is to have this as my primary platform to share ideas, thoughts and content that I find interesting and motivating. Everything that I think is cool. Ali Abdal has been a great inspiration for me in making this a possibility. Check out his website at aliabdaal.com. I want this to be a space to spark conversation around different things I'm passionate about and potentially inspire people on a similar path.
For anyone interested in the tech stack of this website, I built this website using NextJS. It's a ReactJS framework optimized for production. The initial template for this website was the NextJS Getting Started Basics Tutorial. It was a tutorial I enjoyed doing.
Some of the tools I've used here are:
Figma as the design tool
ReactJS with NextJS as the application framework
TypeScript to stay away from stupid bugs
Tailwind CSS to prevent needing to write and duplicate CSS class names
Remark as the markdown processer
Hind as the font that hits home
Vercel to continuously build and deploy the application
Notion to keep me sane while overthinking this website
So far this is just a static website with a blog, but in the future, I would love to grow it into something bigger. For starters, I'm thinking of adding a newsletter feature and a gallery to blog some of the photos I take. Maybe even include dark mode? Might as well throw projects I do on here so the recruiters can be impressed.
Feel free to get in touch with me to let me know that you've read this along with any kind of feedback or thoughts. I would love to hear them. You can find my socials at the bottom of the page.
To finish this origin story, here are a few lines from the song Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw that I resonate with:
Don't take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you're going don't forget to turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind