If you want to write well, writing style is only 10% of it.

90% is actually having something to say.

Aim to think well.

Thread: Learnings from many years of writing...
"It's sad that smart kids want to be YouTube creators."

No, it's not. It's sad that kids ever wanted to be pro poker players or day traders—adding 0 value to the world.

YouTube: mastering writing, growth, storytelling.

This trains kids to be lifelong makers—not just consumers.
I never make new friends on Facebook.

I never book new work on LinkedIn.

Twitter, meanwhile, has brought me tons of both—plus it's sharpened my thinking.

The surprise of social:

People want to meet you based on your thoughts + content—NOT based on your connections.
An unspoken ingredient in writing success:

It helps to have a bit of shamelessness about getting things wrong in public.

Too much shamelessness = you're a charlatan.

But, too little = you'll never publish.

No blogger is always right. Accept it.
Comedian George Carlin did something few others did:

He threw out his best material every year and started over.

This forced him to build a recurring engine for generating ideas—to not rely on stumbling into inspiration.

Want to be a prolific creator? Build an engine.
A content "engine" is a process for:

1. Consuming high-value information.
2. Synthesizing ideas out of it.
3. Narrowing into the good stuff.

... and doing this without burning out.
What's bothering you most in life right now?

Write a post where you work through it and get to a conclusion.

That's how I start writing every time.

Writing is therapy that you publish for the world to learn from.
One of my favorite writing tricks is to only write my introduction.

Then I hand it to friends and ask:

"After reading this, what do you really want the rest of this article to cover?"

They'll give you ideas that are better than your original intentions for the article.
A framework for good writing.

1. Use draft 1 to find your novel ideas, which are:

• Counter-intuitive
• Counter-narrative
• Shock and awe

2. Draft 2 is for making those novel ideas stick—via:

• Stories
• Analogies
• Examples

Writing quality = Novelty x Resonance
Telling an author "You're my favorite writer" is like telling a comedian "You're my favorite speaker."

Writing and speaking are how ideas are distributed. But 90% of the work is the thinking before the distribution.

When you praise creators, praise their minds.
Writing is the most radical thing you can do without money.

If you have something important to say and you say it well, you send strangers down paths badly needed.

It's a disservice to others to keep thoughts to yourself.

As a writer, you can change the world from your couch.
These learnings come from writing in-depth handbooks on my site.

If you want more content on writing, give me a follow. I post threads 2x/week like this.

You can see past threads here:
@Julian

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More from @Julian

25 Jan
My day job is growing startups.

I've worked with a few hundred by now.

Here's how to grow your podcast, newsletter, blog, YouTube, and Twitter.

Hope this helps! A thread:
Growth marketing, a timeline:

2015: "We need to go viral."

2017: "Well, we raised $25m of VC. Let's dump it on Facebook ads."

2021: "Wow. We should have been focusing on content and building a great product."
How to grow a podcast:

• Be YouTube-first; do video
• Split eps into 8min YouTube clips with SEO’d titles
• Get guests that are searched for on YouTube
• Consider not publishing bad eps
• Exchange eps with other shows
• Niche is fine, but be widely accessible
Read 11 tweets
23 Jan
What’s the most beautiful piece of writing you’ve ever come across?

Bonus points if you can screenshot a paragraph and share it below. I’ll consider including it in my writing guide.

Props to anyone who takes the time ❤️
I'll get the list going. This is my favorite from last year: Image
"Reasons to Stay Alive" by Matt Haig. Sourced by @VManasvi Image
Read 5 tweets
9 Jan
THREAD: 10 significant lies you're told about the world.

On startups, writing, and your career:
People don't have short attention spans:

• They finish 3 hour Joe Rogan episodes.
• They binge 14 hour shows.

They have short *consideration spans:* they must be hooked quickly.

Point: Don't fear making great, in-depth content. But, ensure your first minute is incredible.
In observing friends who’ve sold startups and made millions:

After a year, they’re back to toying with their old side projects.

They used their money to buy a nice home and eat well.

That’s it. They’re otherwise back to who they were.

Point: Aim to be fulfilled, not rich.
Read 12 tweets

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