1. Get ideas on paper: Put words on the page as fast as you can. First drafts are always messy. But you can only start shaping ideas into polished writing once they're out of your head. The beauty and clarity you desire will emerge with each edit.
2. Finding ideas
Sherlock Holmes once said: "The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." But when you write regularly, you start observing those things because the pen turns you into a curious detective who is always hunting for clues.
3. Collecting ideas
Finding ideas isn't enough. You have to save them too. Preferably, in a centralized place where you can instantly search for the best ideas you've ever had. The better your note-taking system, the less you have to rely on memory.
Read a bunch of Internet forums about whatever you're writing about. Identify common phrases and put them into a list. Then, use their language whenever you write.
By writing like a friend, you build trust.
The idea of using your reader's voice works best for tactical writing that aims to be clear and persuasive. As a writer, this strategy also helps you get inside the mind of your reader so you can speak to their specific feelings.
5 championship rings. 7 trips to the NBA finals. Though fans were inspired by his excellence, others were offended by his personality. To learn about the nature of greatness, let's talk about his career.
Time for a thread.
The Lakers are famous for their roster of stars: Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.
Kobe wanted to add his name to the list but worried his legacy would be undermined by sharing the court with another great player who he didn’t always get along with: Shaq.
Kobe motivated himself through a combination of envy and desire.
For example, Kobe and Shaq had one of the most famous feuds in NBA history, due to the conflict of Shaq’s desire to be the team’s leader, and Kobe’s need to take the spotlight and outperform.
This paper explores the core personality traits of entrepreneurs:
∙ High self-esteem
∙ More likely to have done “illicit activities”
But here's the key line: "The number one predictor of entrepreneurship is asymmetric information about skill levels."
I discovered this paper when @wolfejosh shared it a few years ago.
He mentioned a quote from William Blake: "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create."
By asymmetric skill levels, the authors refer to people who are more talented than they are credentialed. They're the kinds of people who know how to build a business, even though they never went to college.
Being under-estimated makes them more likely to start a company.
They're trained to evaluate ideas from a kaleidoscope of perspectives. They think like intellectual boxers, who understand ideas by making them fight with each other.
Their thinking is bloody, but boy is it effective.
In particular, I admire their patience with ideas.
Most people jump to moral conclusions when they find a new idea. A good philosopher has none of that hubris. Through critique and dialogue, they simply try to understand it instead, knowing that understanding is a slow process.
While the rest of us judge ideas, philosophers critique them.
They think dispassionately because they welcome the idea of being corrected, and in turn, updating their worldview. Thus, they welcome self-criticism, so long as it's done with a posture of intellectual generosity.
His recent album, Damn, won a Grammy and a Pulitzer-Prize award. His writing is propelled by a note-taking system that helps him capturing the ideas behind his lyrics.
Here's what you can learn from his note-taking system.
1. Note-taking is the closest thing we have to time-travel.
By taking notes, Kendrick conserves precious ideas, develops them over time, and eventually turns them into art. Taking notes doesn't just help him save ideas. It helps him return to a different state of consciousness.
2. Start taking notes early, so you can build upon the ideas over time.
Kendrick was a shy middle schooler who sometimes spoke with a stutter. Frustrated, he turned to the written word. He scribbled rap lyrics on notebook paper instead of finishing assignments for other classes.
1) Beer mode: A state of unfocused play where you discover new ideas.
2) Coffee mode: A state of focused work where you grind towards a specific outcome.
You find ideas in Beer mode and implement them in Coffee mode.
“We get our ideas from our unconscious — the part of our mind that goes on working, If you’re racing around all day, ticking things off a list, looking at your watch, making phone calls you’re not going to have any creative ideas.”
With the world becoming so visual, a distinct style is one of the easiest ways to stand out.
Here’s a thread of people to inspire you.
1. Wes Anderson: Pastel colors with vintage shades that look like they should be a poster.
2. Casey Neistat
With close up shots, messy handwriting, simple fonts, time lapses, drone shots, and symmetrical shots that are inspired by Wes Anderson, @Casey uses aesthetics to invite viewers into his life and make them feel like a friend.
3. Tim Urban
I’m drawn to creatives who give their audiences two opposing emotions. @waitbutwhy pairs the intensity of learning with the playfulness of humor.
His stick-figure drawings are instantly recognizable because they’re so distinct.
They nerd out and produce things that nobody else could produce. Christopher Nolan is my favorite example, so I geeked out on his creative process to see how he made movies like Inception, Interstellar, and The Dark Knight.
Nolan's movies have grossed more than $5 billion.
Fans praise of his illustrious mastery of visual effects, beautiful establishing shots, epic soundtracks, and gripping action sequences.
This video outlines his creative process.
Wonkiness is an algorithm for fresh ideas.
Wonky people have an enthusiastic interest in the specialized details of their domain, and they ignore the social incentives that shame people for being different.