I distilled the internet's best lecture about writing into a set of big ideas.

It's insane I wrote professionally before internalizing these truths.

The Craft of Writing Effectively – on Twitter and everywhere:
If you've been writing in school, you haven't been writing at all.

You’ve been writing for people who are paid to care about you.
Learning to write in a system where people are paid to care about you doesn’t just leave you with neutral habits, it leaves you with terrible habits.

You get used to the idea that people are going to read whatever you write.
In the real world, no one is paid to care about you.

Your readers don’t trust you and they think you're going to waste their time.
To write well in the real world, you don’t need a remedial writing course and you don’t need rules for writing.

You just need to think about how readers read. And you just need to give people value.
Everything having to do with writing is dominated by the issue of value.

Writing isn’t about demonstrating what you know and how.

It’s about making what you know valuable for other people in their reading process.
Writing has the function of helping people understand better something they want to understand well.

Effective writing changes the way people see the world, and it moves conversations forward.

It changes what people think, what they do, and how they decide.
When people aren’t reading what you write, sometimes it's because your writing isn't clear...sometimes it’s because it’s not organized...and sometimes it’s because it's not persuasive.

But overwhelmingly, it's because it's not valuable.
Yes, your writing needs to be clear and organized and persuasive.

But more than anything else, your writing needs to be valuable.

Because if it's not, nothing else matters.
Rule-based writing is useful for people writing low value things.

People writing high value things stop thinking about rules and start thinking about readers.
Writing according to rules is a fundamental misunderstanding of language.

Language is social. It’s a relationship between people.

Which is why effective writing starts with people in mind.
When your writing interferes with the way people read, first they slow down. Second, they don't understand. Third, they get annoyed. Fourth, they stop.
While we're on the subject of writing, write for specific people, not generic readers.

Writing for generic readers is disastrous because it teaches you not to think about the differences between people and what they value.
It's not enough to know a subject. You must know specific groups of people and what they doubt.

If you can’t predict what people doubt, you’re unlikely to persuade them.
When you're writing, your job isn’t to reveal what’s in your head, it’s to change what’s in other heads.

And the only way to do that is to know what’s in other heads to begin with.
Teachers care if you understand something.

Readers just want to understand something themselves.
Don't think about writing as “revealing yourself.”

Instead, think about how people read when they're trying to learn.
You think writing is about conveying your ideas to your readers?

Writing is not about conveying your ideas to readers. It’s about changing their ideas.
When you write, your job isn’t to reveal the inside of your head.

It’s to change what's going on in the space between heads.
Anytime somebody gives you advice about writing, say, “For which readers and what purpose?”

No advice about writing makes any sense unless you've clarified who's reading it and why.
Rules about writing aren't rules.

Language doesn’t follow rules and you shouldn’t either.

When people are serious about learning something, rules don’t matter.

(Btw, if you're thinking about rules when you’re writing, you're probably writing badly.)
Effective writing informs the thinking process and controls the reading process at the same time.
Is your writing a way for you to participate in the world?

Yes, but not by sharing your thoughts.

You participate in the world by changing the way others participate. They do the same, and so on.
From your first sentence to your last, think about your readers and what they value.

Know what they need and give it to them.

The value of your writing lies in people, not paragraphs.
Here's the talk delivered by Larry McEnerney, former Director of Writing Programs, University of Chicago.

I distilled and rewrote, but the talk is self-exemplifying because it changed the way I see the world.

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More from @jmikolay

10 Jan
I read and synthesized 4 of the most influential books of the past decade:
-The Beginning of Infinity
-The Origins of Creativity
-The Rational Optimist

Here's what they say about human progress, potential, evolution & creativity:
Progress starts with rebellion
-Rebellion against authority in regard to knowledge
-Refusal to accept the present order of things
-@DavidDeutschOxf @carlorovelli
The potential for human progress is unlimited.

The more human beings have exchanged, the better off they have been, are and will be. And the good news is that there is no inevitable end to this process.
Read 23 tweets
3 Jan
Goal Setting for the Creative Process—a framework for publishing more in 2022 than the rest of your life combined:
This week @SahilBloom published "The Goal Setting Guide," a framework for successful goal setting.

As usual, he presents a better, clearer way to think – and his framework is simple to understand.

Sahil’s framework is powerful for setting goals in any category.

But it’s invaluable in one specific category:

The creative process.
Read 24 tweets
1 Jan
In 2021 I did 75 Hard, a program created by Andy Frisella.

I distilled 15 things I learned that can help anyone seeking to change in 2022:
My inspiration to start the program came from @heydannymiranda

Danny wrote, “Every time I do this program, it changes me. The level of focus, consistency, and discipline bleeds into other areas of my life.”
The structure of 75 Hard is simple:

1. Stick to a diet w/no cheat meals and no alcohol
2. Drink 1 gallon of water
3. Work out twice, 45 min. each, at least 3 hours apart
4. Read at least 10 pages of a non-fiction book
5. Take a selfie

Five things. Every day. No exceptions.
Read 21 tweets
20 Sep 21
The next time you get down about someone else doing well on Twitter or elsewhere, remember:

It used to be someone else’s success could have a meaningful impact on your potential in life.

Today that’s no longer true, and here's why: 🧵
On the internet, you can (and should) assume all forces except your own creative output are negligible.

It’s the one thing that explains successful people online.
The scale of opportunity on the internet is so large, and the rewards so great, all other variables, including the success of others, go to zero.

This is true even though power laws govern outcomes and small differences between outliers generate runaway outcomes.
Read 10 tweets
2 Sep 21
Soak in the world of @SahilBloom

I organized and distilled his educational threads into a summary of big ideas

What he’s taught us about how to think, errors to avoid, and personal growth:
In a world of copycat solutions, rejecting base level assumptions is key to achieving non-linear outcomes.

Rejecting assumptions leads to first principles thinking. First principles thinking leads to creative solutions. And creative solutions lead to non-linear outcomes.
Together, making assumptions and reasoning by analogy lead to unimaginative, linear solutions that resemble all that’s been done before.
Read 21 tweets
31 Aug 21
📢 10x Creator Course, Cohort 2

🔷Turn your ideas into a flagship digital product
🔷Learn from outstanding creators
🔷Build leverage around your expertise

Applications open today & close Friday👇
I loved teaching 10xCC so much, and the outcomes were so impressive, I'm not just adding one new cohort, I'm opening THREE.
I'm hand-picking freelancers, digital entrepreneurs & knowledge influencers building flagship products.

You'll surround yourself with creators holding you accountable for building income and authority on top of assets you own.
Read 7 tweets

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