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Why I’m starting a writing habit

It’s widely accepted that sharing your writing online is A Good Thing and despite intrinsically knowing this, very few of us are actually doing it. 

I have been reading a lot on the subject recently and I want to share with you some of the insights I have gathered from articles and videos that have created a critical mass in my brain and finally kicked me into action to start my own writing habit. 

I’ve decide to share my writing regularly for two main reasons. To improve my thinking and to create opportunities.

Improving my thinking 

Writing sharpens your thinking because you can’t explain a topic to your reader unless you have a good understanding of it. This is sometimes referred to as the Feynman Technique (developed by physics legend Richard Feynman) and it revolves around explaining the concept in simple language as if you were teaching it to someone else. If you can’t do that, you don’t understand it well enough so you go back and fill in the gaps in your knowledge. 

Creating content around a topic solidifies your understanding of that topic – it turns passively consumed information into something more solid in your mind that you have a much better chance of remembering. 

Creating opportunities

David Perell calls posting to your personal website to building a Serendipity Vehicle in his brilliant article “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Online”.

“When you put you ideas onto the internet, little robots carry your ideas all over the world for you whatever you are doing for free. You put your work out once and the robots will work for you for the rest of your life.”

David Perell

By putting work out there, week after week, month after month, year after year you’ll expand your network. Your work will eventually attract like-minded people, enable you to connect with them and create opportunities that you can’t even conceive of yet.

I have had a taste of this as a photographer. Just the act of consistently publishing my work, and it being seen by others, opened doors. My website at the time had galleries of my work, I shared what I was learning in the craft and I posted articles showing behind the scenes of my photoshoots. Through this people got to see how I worked and decided I’d be a good fit. Next thing you know I was travelling Europe filming a team of racing drivers!

Doing the work

Now this is the hard part: Writing a single article and posting it won’t have people beating down your door to work with you. Writing ten won’t either, but 50 or a 100 might. You have to keep putting in the work consistently. Eventually, you’ll reach a tipping point and things will begin to snowball. Keeping going until you hit that point when you don’t know how far along the path you are is the challenge. And all the way, you don’t quiet know what waits in store for you even if you do keep going.

tl;dr 

It’s a lot of work over a long period of time but if you keep going at it long enough, good things happen. No one can’t tell you what those good things will be but there are enough people out there telling the same story so there’s got to be something in it. 

And worse case, you sharpen your thinking and expand your understanding of topics that interest you along the way. Doesn’t seem like a bad place to invest some time.

Resources

If you’re not afraid to put in the work and you want to go get inspired yourself, these are the articles and video from David, Nat and Ali that finally got me started. I hope they have similar effect on you.

David Perell’s Ultimate Guide To Writing Online article
Nat Eliason’s How to Start a Blog that Changes Your Life article
Ali Abdaal ‘s How Writing Online Made me a Millionaire video 

Send some time with those and let me know in the comments if you feel as inspired as I do.

Thanks for reading 🙏

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