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Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience Paperback – March 7, 2017
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About the Author
Dan Blank is the founder of WeGrowMedia, where he helps writers and creative professionals share their stories and grow their audience.
He has worked with hundreds of individuals and amazing organizations who support creative people, such as Random House, Hachette Book Group, Sesame Workshop, Workman Publishing, J. Walter Thompson, Abrams Books, Writers House, The Kenyon Review, Writer's Digest, Library Journal, and many others.
Dan's work has been featured by Poets & Writers magazine, the National Endowment for the Arts, Compose Journal, Professional Artist magazine, and 99u.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dan’s strategy involves ignoring the stats and concentrating on connections. That might sound obvious, but few people do it well, or even know where to start. Be The Gateway provides a detailed roadmap and engaging case studies.
The "Gateway" entails guiding people to a fascinating place (your work) that they want to enter and explore further. Dan focuses on three elements: (1) story (be a storyteller, no matter what medium you work in), (2) creator (let people experience their inner world through you and your work), and (3) topics (choose unique narrative themes that relate to your story).
“Instead of framing the value of your work by how it performs in the market, you define it by how other people experience the world through your creative work—the stories and experiences you share, and the topics you talk about.”
Be The Gateway also warns against a practice many artists (especially introverted ones) share—they “hide away in complete silence for months or years and then make a big announcement.” When no one responds, they wonder why. Building a "Gateway" to and through the creative process remedies that awful “sound of crickets chirping” feeling.
Be The Gateway gives concrete instruction regarding:
* How to craft a biography that communicates your narrative.
* Why you shouldn’t immediately jump on social media to promote your work.
* Why “mid-level doers” can teach you more than “influencers” about social media.
* What small, actionable steps you can take when feeling overwhelmed.
My favorite quote from the book:
“A gateway is not a clever pitch to buy a product. Musician and artist Brian Eno put it this way: ‘Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences.’”
Highly recommended for creative professionals who feel intimidated by marketing and wonder if there’s a more inspired way to promote their work.
Standing out on the overpopulated world wide web to let my target audience know I exist feels impossible on a daily basis. And yet, Dan’s book offers practical steps and exercises on how to do just that — connect with a single person while leveraging social sites and the internet. He also shares ideas on how to connect with people in person and with specific examples.
This book is helping me identify and communicate my focus — what I’m “willing to fight for”—in my bio, mission statement, projects, and actions. Dan has me paying attention to how my daily life aligns with my creative work.
Happy co-creating to all of you.
"With your creative work, what matters is the work itself, how you have grown as a person as you develop your craft, and how your work affects the lives of others."
In clear, lyrical language, Blank provides a path that every artist can take toward making a difference in the world by being a gateway between the art and the lives of others. So, while the number of social media followers, likes, and other scores are interesting, they do not how successful your art is in touching another human being or in bringing change to the world.
The premise is laid out in three parts: You Are a Gateway; Open the Gate; and Walk People Through the Gate. Throughout, Blank shares resources and his own experiences in making art and sharing it with the world. The book is a gem of a find for artists of every kind in encouraging, motivating, and showing a way that works since it is based upon the artist themselves:
"The stories you tell, the experiences you craft, the moments you share -- this is your gateway."
Blank himself walks the talk. When I emailed my thoughts in response to a recent newsletter, Blank's answer was swift, person, and direct: Read the book? Put up a review. That I can do -- the same that I can take the simple, hard steps to focusing on my story and the experiences that I hope to offer readers.
Wondering what value the book might be? Consider this:
"What is the biggest thing that will keep your work from being created, discovered, and appreciated? You. You are the most dangerous force that will stop your work from reaching others."
So, for all of us artists here, get to work! Oh, yeah, and read Dan Blank's BE THE GATEWAY to share it with the world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
He tells you a most important truth, and that is if you want the world to see your art then you are going...Read more